Unlike many of the coddled stars in Hollywood today, Paul Newman was a badass long before making it big on the silver screen. He was a regular old military guy who joined the Navy and served in WWII after getting kicked out of Ohio University for "unruly behavior." Having been in the movie business for decades, Newman's resume is full of classic performances from The Sting to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In one of his greatest early performances, Newman played the role of Brick Pollitt, a drunken ex-football player, in the movie version of Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. It was his role as pool shark Fast Eddie Felson in The Color of Money that won him his elusive Oscar as best actor in 1986. "I'm the best you ever seen, Fats. I'm the best there is. And even if you beat me, I'm still the best." Newman didn't just play the sports role in movies, he was also an avid fan of motor sports and owned par of the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. The racing team based out of Illinois competes in the IndyCar Series and co-owner Carl A. Haas issued the following statement on their website.
On behalf of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, my wife Bernadette and myself, I want to express our most sincere condolences to Joanne and the entire Newman family on the loss of a great human being. Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and above all, his generosity. Not just economic generosity, but generosity of spirit. His support of the team’s drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him. We will truly miss him.
Many sports fans — mostly from Canada — will remember Newman fondly for his role as minor league hockey star Reggie Dunlop in the cult classic Slap Shot. Paul Newman, 1925-2008 >>Paul Newman dies at 83 [CNN]