Moviegoers likely remember Paul Newman as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. And that’s perfectly normal given the Ohio-born actor won an Academy, six Golden Globes and an Emmy, among other awards. To others, however, Newman wasn’t just the best actor in Scorsese’s "The Color of Money," but a successful racing driver that made his debut at 47, an age that usually sees other racers calling it quits. It all started while Newman was training at the Watkins Glen Racing School for the filming of "Winning," a 1969 movie. From then on, racing became his life’s passion.

Enthusiasts frequently compare Newman to Steve McQueen, yet another actor/racing driver legend of the era, but while McQueen competed in a handful of events, Newman had a full-time racing career from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s.

Highlights include four national championships in the SCCA, successful appearances in the Trans-Am Series, and a second-place finish in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a Porsche 935, which was the car to beat in the late 1970s. Newman’s love for racing became obvious again in 1995, when he scored a class win at the 24 Hours of Daytona. He was 70 years old! Newman returned to Daytona in 2005, at age 80, for an impressive epilogue.

Seven years have passed since Newman passed away, and the first documentary about his racing career is about to hit the big screen on April 16th.The official trailer is out and you can watch it above.

EIC’s Note:
I’m old enough to have seen movies like "Cool Hand Luke" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" when they came out, and was (much later) fortunate enough to meet Paul and his wife, Joanne Woodward.
I can tell you that you wouldn’t have had to wait to see his charitable work (Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Newman’s Own) to see that although he was small in stature, he had a huge heart and presence. He was one hell of a man, and I really, really can’t wait to see this film.
Rest in peace, Paul, and thanks for the memories.


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