Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Couple of 'Paul Newman' Anecdotes

In noting the recent passing of legendary film star Paul Newman, I thought I'd relate a couple of relevant anecdotes.

Sometime in the late 1970s (could have been earlier, I really don't remember), Paul Newman's chauffeur-driven limo got a flat tire while passing through here (Mount Vernon, NY) on the northbound Hutchinson River Parkway. The driver managed to get off the highway and to a service station to have the flat changed. While waiting, Newman went to a nearby deli and bought a 6-pack of beer. Someone in the store told him he "looked like Paul Newman", and he replied, "Yeah, I get that a lot". Then he returned to his car, and he and the driver drove back onto the highway to Connecticut. This was reported in the newspaper the next day after the deli clerk called the newspaper to tell them he thought he had Paul Newman as a customer. A few phone calls from the press to Newman's public relations office, confirmed that he was, indeed, in Mount Vernon the previous day.

Another story: In my early days with DHL (mid-1980s), for the first four years my delivery route was in Fairfield County, Connecticut. One of the cities I delivered was Westport (partially, not the entire city), and two or three times, I had letters addressed to Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I believe their house/farm was on Coleytown Road. Neither was home when I delivered, or if they were, they didn't come to the door. Instead, their housekeeper accepted and signed for the letters. She had a bit of an attitude too, sort of like "I work for the Newmans, what do YOU want from them?". Perhaps she thought I was there to ask for an autograph?

During my active years of collecting autographs, I sent photos to Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, to their home in Westport, asking them to sign them. The photos were never returned. A few years later I read an article in which was mentioned Mr. Newman did not sign autographs. The article stated that he said he always signed for people in his early days of acting, but one time, when he was in a restaurant, he got up to go to the men's room, and while standing at the urinal, somebody approached him and asked for his autograph. At that point, he decided to turn down all such requests. Some autograph seekers are overanxious and ruin it for everybody!

1 comment:

Catsafterme said...

Yeah, sounds like something I would do! haha