Paul Newman: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 2)

We recently brought part one of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Paul Newman, where we talked, among other things, about his passion for cars and his charity work. Here are seven more facts about the iconic actor.

Number Seven: He Had a Near Death Experience

As we mentioned in part one, Paul Newman enrolled in the U.S. Navy during WWII. On one of his missions, he was sent to Okinawa. One day, his pilot developed an ear infection and they were both held from flying. The aircraft carrier they were meant to land on was destroyed, killing everyone on board.

Number Six: He Was Nixon’s Enemy

Due to his political activism and outspoken personality, which included a strong opposition to the Vietnam War, Newman was placed 19th on president Nixon’s enemy list. The actor considered it to be his greatest life accomplishment. Newman was a supporter of liberal causes and was deeply concerned about global warming.

Number Five: He Was Planning on Directing a Play

Newman’s stage directing debut, a theatrical adaptation of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, was set to take place in Westport in 2008. By that time, the actor had been diagnosed with lung cancer and the play had to be rescheduled. Newman passed away a few months later, on September 26, 2008.

Number Four: Paul Newman Was the Inspiration for Green Lantern

DC’s superhero Green Lantern was reinvented as Hal Jordan in 1959. Artist Gil Kane made his character in the likeness of Newman, who was 34 at the time.

Number Three: Despite Numerous Accolades, He Never Won an Acting Oscar

Newman is one of the very few actors who has been nominated for an Academy Award in five different decades. However, despite being one of the most talented, charismatic and eclectic actors of his generation, Paul never won an Academy Award for his acting or producing works. He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1986 and a Humanitarian Oscar for his charity work in 1994.

Number Two: He Publicly Apologized for One of His Roles

Paul was so unhappy with his performance in the Greek costume drama The Silver Chalice he wrote an ad in Variety Magazine to publicly apologize about it. In addition, he was presented with The Golden Turkey Award for The Most Embarrassing Movie Debut of All Time, which he totally agreed with.

Number One: He Was Often Mistaken for Marlon Brando

It’s not surprising that both actors would get mistaken; both were almost the same age, tall, blue eyed and painfully attractive. Several publications agreed on their resemblance—The Los Angeles examiner noted that “[Paul Newman] will inevitably be compared to Marlon Brando because of his striking resemblance to the actor”. Newman, who hated signing autographs, claimed to have signed at least 500 of them reading “Best wishes, Marlon Brando.” Thanks for reading!