However, he was in quite a few of my favorite movies, such as The Hudsucker Proxy.
The first film I ever recall seeing Paul Newman act in was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When I was seven or eight I really loved the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head," which is featured prominently in the film, and won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1969. It was saccharine but catchy.
When I was a few years older, I enjoyed watching Cool Hand Luke with my mom one evening on our old 13-inch black and white Zenith TV. I have a vivid memory of being really grossed out by the scene where Luke eats fifty hard-boiled eggs. Nasty.
(I also recall being mortified to see the bare butt of the dad from The Waltons as his character is forced to spend a night in "The Box.")
In subsequent years, Cool Hand Luke always reminded me of my mom, and in particular of the night we first watched it while snuggled up under a blanket on our ugly army-green sofa.
When I was in college, I took a course called "Existentialism: Theistic and Atheistic," in which we watched Cool Hand Luke. I even wrote a short paper on it, though the specific details of my argument escape me twenty-odd years later.
I happened across the movie on TV two or three weeks ago. It was at least half over, and I didn't watch more than a few minutes. When I tuned in, Luke was saying good-bye to his mother, who, nearing death, had come to say good-bye to him in the prison camp.
It's a poignant scene, and as always, it choked me up as I watched.