Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Dying Breed

I hope the rumors that Paul Newman is facing terminal cancer aren't true. While at 83 he has led a long, happy, exemplary life, we as a nation, and particularly a culture, are going to be much less for his passing. While he isn't perfect, as no humans are, he has always displayed a strength, class and dignity sorely missing among the Hollywood stars of the last couple of decades. He has managed to enjoy a long, happy marriage with Joanne Woodward without sex tapes or jumping on couches. He has pursued his hobby of racing cars without turning it into a paparazzi sideshow and photo op. He has quietly donated millions and millions of dollars to charities through his Newman's Own line of natural and organic foods without feeling the need to call a press conference or calling attention to himself in any way. He has simply always, for the most part, chosen to do the right thing. He is such a class act. I was incredibly saddened by the death of Sydney Pollack recently for the same reasons. He was successful, funny, brilliant and a genuinely good guy who made significant contributions to our culture in a quietly dignified way. Our lives were truly enriched by these gentlemen, and our culture will lose much as we lose them.