To the young and clueless, Newman today is the man on the salad dressing label. But once, and for a long time, he was a strong candidate for best-looking male movie star, ever.
Tall, blond, blue-eyed and with the physique of a clothes horse – although none of the vanity – he was so handsome that his work as an actor, like that of sometime co-star Robert Redford, was occasionally unfairly overshadowed.
As Butch Cassidy, Luke Jackson and Fast Eddie Felson, he embodied anti-establishment cool. In person, he was less maverick outsider than pillar of the community – a philanthropist and family man – which perhaps explains his remarkable ability to make formalwear seem as cool, if not cooler, than the rugged workwear he often wore on screen.