Paul Newman is no longer with us but his legacy lives on with the release of a movie about his life and the announcement that his image will be on a U.S. “forever” postage stamp to be released on September 18. The postage stamp celebrates Newman’s philanthropic endeavors funding charitable causes in an effort to make the world a better place. “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman” is the movie that celebrates Newman’s extensive racing career.
Newman’s film fan base is extensive and his movie acting success resulted in 10 Academy Award nominations and an Oscar for the movie “The Color of Money.” He appeared in 62 films. Newman also has another fan base that is totally unrelated to his acting career. He was a very successful sports car racer and racing team owner. During the 1980s and 1990s, Newman continued acting and also embraced his many passions, particularly auto racing, which he took up in his 40s. Each year the number on his race car was changed to match his age. The last car he raced was number 82.
Actors who race cars are nothing new. James Garner raced in the Baja in an Oldsmobile 442, Dick Smothers drove Corvettes at Le Mans. Patrick Dempsey still runs Porsches there, much to the dismay of the studio’s insurance agent. Fellow racers and knowledgeable fans knew that Newman really “got it.” He found the sport through his day job, fell in love with it, and couldn’t let go. He understood what makes it a great and complex pastime, and just as importantly, became legitimately good at it.
Newman had a class win in the 24-Hours of Le Mans race, a class win at the 24-Hours of Daytona and clinched four Sports Car Club of America class championships. Newman was heard to say that he only acted in movies so that he could pay for his racing.
Adam Carolla is a comedian, car guy and collector of old Newman race cars. He also produced and directed the movie which was released on May 22nd in selected nationwide theaters and on-demand at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3377996/.