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The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man, Paul Newman

The book looks backward at a time of his life – from 1986 to 1991. Its an encyclopedia of his thoughts and motivations, his conflicts, his context during that period…. A snapshot of his life you could say. Starting in the theatre he hated being singled out. He worked hard in theatre or whatever he did – racing cars, acting, directing, drinking beer, being married, having children, and philanthropy work. Everything had to be hard, be full board. I can relate.

Some very thoughtful moments as Paul discusses his son who died – asking for his forgiveness for not being a better father. Newman was a stickler for punctuality and he hated it when Robert Redford and Elizabeth Taylor would arrive late to the set. As he grew older he realized, especially when his wife, Joanne Woodward (also a famous actor) would be out of town or being alone longer than he was accustomed to, that there are not a lot of people out in the world that you can count on, and the ones he could count on were few and far between. This is so true. He stated he’d just walk around the house and bump into things because he wasn’t anxious to do much about it, or maybe just too proud to be seen making the effort. He was most proud of his philanthropy work, but still, did not cause a fuss about it much. The Economist noted in his obituary that he was the most generous individual, relative to his income, in the20th-centuryy history of the United States. That just might describe it all on the kind of man, not actor, thatise talking about.


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