This is the second of two posts on this site about Paul Newman’s comments on how he wants to be remembered.
“I envy Laurence Olivier, because he seems to have endless resources in him to develop and be a different character each time,” Paul Newman said early in his career as an actor. “I feel I perhaps don’t have the imagination to change.”
Lionel Godfrey, who quotes that unsourced comment in Paul Newman: Superstar: A Critical Biography (St. Martin’s, 1979) goes on to say of Newman and Olivier:
“Since one is par excellence a screen-actor and the other’s sphere, despite great film-performances, has always been pre-eminently the stage, it is difficult to compare the two stars. But in the 12 years or so since he modestly made that statement, Paul has more than proved his own versatility and the creative resources he can bring to new, unusual roles. He has often told interviewers, ‘I don’t want to die and have written on my tombstone: ‘He was a helluva actor until one day his eyes turned brown.’”
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.