Paul Newman, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

20TH CENTURY FOX

First up, you always buy Newman's Own everything, too, I trust? I always have, as proceeds go toward drug rehabilitation causes (in memory of Newman's own son, Scott, who died of an overdose years ago), among other right-minded charities. This ain't no Lindsay Lohan leggings franchise. Hmmm, speaking of which, wonder if I should stock up on a butt load of Newman's (light) Caesar dressing in honor of what L2's buds are telling me is coming 'round the over-partied bend yet again? Just a thought, as this bit is about Newman, not Lohan, jeez, what a preposterous Hollywood comparison if there ever was one.

My Esquire bud, Scott Raab, the irascible journo (and author of Real Hollywood Stories) known for getting the edgier quotes out of T-town types, sat down with Newman a few years ago. He was cranky, Raab was cranky, it was all machismo delicious. "Our interviews have been a tooth pull for us both," S.R. wrote after visiting Newman in the Connecticut home where he just passed away. "I can't tell if he's half deaf or just deep...if he's pissed off or tired or bored or all of the above." Ah, I vote that the gorgeous blue-eyed legend was fully alert, as he chirped up astute and sage secs later:

"In a debased celebrity culture that rams cow shit down every goose's craw and calls it pâté, what does it mean to be a star?" wrote Raab. "If Brad and Leo are icons, what does that make Paul Newman?" he asked the iconic actor.

"Think of the torrent of sperm out there," he said softly, so softly that Raab found himself bending toward Newman, who continued, "and that yours landed here. Stunning."

"Long odds," Scott said. And Newman nodded and added, "It is luck. It is...stunning...I never felt like a leading man, never felt it. You've gotta feel like a leading man in order to be a leading man, and I never had that kind of confidence."

Coulda fooled me, old man. Miss you much. Loved your rebel ways and everything else.

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