Paul Newman

Blue Eyes

When people think about Paul Newman, speaking generally anyway, the first thing they think about is his eyes.  Same goes for Ed Harris, Frank Sinatra, and a number of the other famous men and women who spent their careers in front of the camera.  The funny thing about blue eyes is that they are considered a genetic mutation.  Somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago (not to be vague), everyone's eyes were brown everywhere in the world.  Until.  There was a genetic mutation that affected the OCA2 gene in someone somewhere that limited the amount of melanin in their eyes.  

Paul NEwmans Eyes.jpg

Melanin is a type of pigment in the eyes' iris that determines eye color.  The more melanin, the browner.  The less melanin the more likelihood of blue, green or hazel eyes.  But it likely started with one person way back when.  Which means that, if you were born with blue eyes, somewhere down the line you are related to Paul Newman.  Think about that!

The Color of Money

QUESTION:  For which of the following films was Paul Newman NOT nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award?
A). The Road to Perdition (2003)
B). Hud (1964)
C). The Hustler (1962)
D). Absence of Malice (1982)

The posters displayed throughout the American Treasure Tour honor movies throughout the decades. The Color of Money was released in 1986. It starred one of the silver screen's most popular young actors coupled with one of film's living legends of the time: Tom Cruise and Paul Newman. One striking novelty of the movie is that it is a sequel following the life of Eddie Nelson.  He is character that Newman made famous twenty-five years earlier with his Oscar-nominated performance in The Hustler, where a young, hot-headed pool shark learned the secrets of the game and its subtleties by Minnesota Fats, played memorably by Jackie Gleason.

The Color of Money was a big hit for its main actors and its director - a relative unknown to this day named Martin Scorsese. Jackie Gleason, very much alive at the time the film was produced, declined making an appearance in the film as Minnesota Fats because he felt the character was unnecessary to propel the plot. Notably, Tom Cruise's commitment to his character of Vincent Lauria was such that he purchased a pool table for his apartment and trained night and day for the roll. He made every shot used in the film except one - a jump of his ball over two others that sunk in the hole. We can only guess whether Cruise will star in another sequel in 2021 to celebrate another twenty-five years between films....

ANSWER:  A). The Road to Perdition (2003).  He was actually nominated for Best Supporting Actor for that one.  He also received Best Actor nominations for Nobody's Fool (1995), Cool Hand Luke (1968), The Verdict (1983), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1959).  His sole victory, however, was for The Color of Money. 

Newman & Newman ... get the job done.

On this date in 1968 ~ Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis. 

What famous NYC structure did Jackie campaign to save in the 1970's?

a.  Flatiron Building      b. The Daily News Building     c.  Grand Central Station

Speaking of the 1970's ... In January of 1970, which of the following songs was at #1 on the billboard charts for the first week in the new year?

a.  Boogie Oogie Oogie   by A Taste of Honey
b.  Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head   by B.J. Thomas
c.  Papa Was a Rollin' Stone   by The Temptations

Answers:   c. Grand Central Station
                   b. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

While B.J. Thomas recorded "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", it was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Who was first to be offered the song to sing for the movie?

a. Ray Stevens    b. Elvin Bishop    c. Kris Kristofferson

Who doesn't love Paul Newman?  We have several Paul Newman images for you to enjoy at the American Treasure Tour ...

Answer:  a. Ray Stevens

Final bit of trivia for Monday ... Did you know Ray Stevens' birth name is:
Harold Ray Ragsdale ??? Tis True!

Today's Birthday Pick is another Newman ... maybe not as famous as Paul, but very much a part of the entertainment industry.  Composer Thomas Newman was born on this date in 1955.  He has done the music for many films including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Help, Erin Brockovich, The Shawshank Redemption & Meet Joe Black to name just a few.

                                                                    Thomas Newman born on this date in 1955.

                                                                   Thomas Newman born on this date in 1955.

Enjoy your Monday!

Paul Newman - May 27, 2014

No doubt you read the header to today's blog and got excited at the thought that maybe Paul Newman recorded an album that is on display in the Music Room here at the American Treasure Tour.  Sorry to say, that's not the case.  If he ever sang into a microphone, we are none the wiser. Instead, we are here to talk about his contribution to film.  We suspect it will come as no surprise to you that he is a favorite among the crew here at the ATT and for good reason.  He was not only an amazing actor but, according to the women who work at the Tour, he is apparently dreamy, too....

Paul Newman made his fame in film, notably with his Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1986 Martin Scorcese film The Color of Money, but he has done much more with his celebrity than many others.  Aside from a passion for auto racing, Newman also co-founded Newman's Own, a food company from which all profits go to helping the disadvantaged.  He also founded the SeriousFun Children's Network, which provides camps and support for children with serious illnesses.  So.  Not only is Newman talented and dreamy, he also did many great things to help people, that continue on since his passing away in 2008 at the age of 83.

QUESTION:  What was the last fictional film in which Paul Newman performed prior to his death?

a)  Cool Hand Luke

b)  Road To Perdition

c)  Cars

d)  The Meerkats

Answer Below


Eighteen years of production stopped on this day in 1927 at the Ford Automotive plant.  The Model T, one of the most popular cars ever produced in the world, was retired the day after the fifteen millionth T rolled off the assembly line.  Although the Model T is generally regarded as the car that anyone in America could afford, it was long outdated by 1927.  The other major car manufacturers had outpaced Ford in technology and appeal to the public, so Ford was ready to start over again.  In December, production would begin on a new, improved Model A car.

By 1937, the American addiction to travel was in full swing, and nothing could stop us from getting from Point A to Point C - even if Point B between them was the San Francisco Bay!  On this day, the Golden Gate Bridge opened its pedestrian walkway.  It was a major step on the way to opening the famous landmark for automotive traffic, and the opening of traffic between the city of San Francisco and Marin County, California.


The descendant of Dutch indentured servants, Cornelius Vanderbilt became one of the richest men ever to live in the United States.  He was born today in 1794, a Staten Island boy who provided ferry service to Manhattan from an early age.  That began his ascent.  He then bought steamboats, then exploited the ambitions of miners looking for gold in California, and then railroads.  Despite having thirteen children, with ten surviving him, Vanderbilt willed 95% of his ample fortune to his eldest son, William, and his four sons.

42 years Vanderbilt's junior and considered his greatest enemy, Jay Gould shared his birthday. Gould was an extremely ambitious entrepreneur prepared to do what it took to make his fortune.  He was extremely powerful in railroads - and a competitor to Vanderbilt - but he also nurtured dubious relations with the corrupt and controversial Tammany Hall political party in New York City.  In 1869, he strove to corner the national market in gold, and contributed to a panic that led to an economic depression.  

QUOTE:  If you don't have enemies, you don't have character. - Paul Newman

Answer:  c)  Cars.  He did the voice for Doc Hudson.  The Meerkats was the last film in which he was involved; however, that was a documentary.  As was Dale, which also came out after Cars.