Paul Newman’s piercing blue eyes didn’t really get noticed until 1961, when he played Fast Eddie in The Hustler. He reprised the character in The Color of Money in 1986 and won an Oscar – after being given an honorary one the previous year for his contributions to film.

How was it possible for this highly-regarded actor to go for so long without a gong? He was in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Sting, for goodness’ sake. Although humorous, he was serious about his craft – even going to the lengths, early in his career, of taking out an ad in a trade mag to apologise for his part in one particular film.

Newman had other interests, too, and not just motor racing (although he was pretty good at that). Salad fans will recognise his smiling face from bottles of his dressing, and know that when they buy it, they’re contributing to several charities, including ones that help seriously ill children. Perhaps uncharacteristically for a star, Newman decided to quit when he lost confidence in his ability to keep up his high standard. This was in 2007, a year before he died, aged 83. He is probably remembered as much for his philanthropy as his acting.

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