The Many Paul Newmans

Newman_paul Paul Newman is looking out at me every day. When I open the kitchen closet to take out a breakfast cereal, on the shelves below — and above — there he is smiling at me — the same smile I’d seen in person for half a century — and one I will always continue to see.

There he was on the first Newman’s Own product for which he delightedly wrote the humorous label. And he continued to do as the list of products grew and grew and grew. On the first Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar salad dressing he admitted, “For years at Christmas, old pal Hotchner (A.E.) and I bottled this concoction for friends. The acclaim was deafening, the repeat orders staggering. This year, they chained us to the furnace until we brewed 30 gallons — a prisoner of my own excellence. Enough I said! Let’s go public! I’m out of the basement and onto the shelf!” (All profits and royalties were to be donated to charitable and educational purposes.) I told the manager of my neighborhood Gelson’s market, the Newman salad dressing should get a better space. It was promoted. And as the number of Newman’s Own increased, the primo placement continued.

It was a game — and a joy to watch each new Newman’s Own product bear an appropriate caricature of him on the front label and an hysterical description of the origins and ingredients. For instance, on Newman’s Own Parisienne Dijon Lime, a bereted and mustachioed Newman tells, “after a physical encounter with the Baroness Legume, that those who try this Parisienne dressing are warned consumption of this product  may produce  unexpected romantic  results.” Then came the “Industrial Strength” (!!)  pasta sauces, with the label describing the creation by “P. Loquesto Newman” — via his “Venetian ancestors” to his vegetable patch to his boiling pot. For each delight to the palate, an hysterical description of its creation and appropriate caricature. But always with that knowing smile — and the blue eyes.

I had spoken with him off stage, off camera, off the track, off the Hole In the Wall Camps, at events where he was reluctantly honored –wherever –he was always a joy to talk with, listen to. And we’ll still always have our own Newman’s Own.

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  1. To Ben Craven:
    Army Archerd is one of the truly great journalists of our time, maintaining the highest level of integrity while crossing all areas of the media, not just Hollywood. Even those who praise his work fall short of the level of achievement he continues to accomplish in his role as an icon of his craft. Anyone who would doubt the integrity of his character, or his reporting, or criticize his writing, is at once transparent in terms of their towering stupidity. A good journalist will draw criticism because of their devotion to the truth in what they report no matter what the consequences. Army Archerd is such a journalist. I’ve known him for nearly four decades, and from the day I first was told to deliver an item to him by the head of Universal Studios’ t.v. p.r. department, Army treated me with incredible respect. I will never forget that when the receptionist called inside to him, and I
    didn’t have to wait (in the lobby of his world famous newspaper, Daily Variety), nor was I told to leave my envelope at the front desk, as I had been told at all the other publications on my rounds with other news. With Army, there was no pretense attached though he was most important entertainment writer in Hollywood. He could call any star or studio mogul, producer at their home. That included such stars and luminaries as Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda,Robert Altman, James Coburn, Stanley Kubrick,Peter Bogdanovich, Sidney Pollack, and literally hundreds of other powerful stars, studio execs, producers, agents, or power p.r. people, directly regarding anything from personal rumors to real news. Above all, everyone in positions of great power — trusted him then and do still do to this day.
    Army has never taken advantage of a source about a story. More often than not(and it continues to this day), the stars or movie moguls call Army because they trust him to print the truth. They also trust him to be told of stories that have been rumored or erroneously reported, even though they want the truth to be withheld for personal reasons. Army has never crossed the line of journalism vs. sensationalism, and that has earned him the trust of the entire population of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry.
    I remember in my fledgling days as a publicist that when I arrived at the famed Daily Variety newspaper, an oracle of the showbiz industry, to deliver an exclusive item from Universal Studio’s p.r. chief to Army, I was not brushed off. No one told me that,”Army was too busy” to see me (though he had never even met me). He was, and still is, the most important and internationally respected reporter in Hollywood. And on my first day’s task, to deliver this exclusive item to Army for his column, he invited me to sit with him, even while it was obvious he was on a deadline for his column and his phone was ringing every ten seconds. He made me the focus of his valuable attention. I will never forget that. The decency he paid me as a junior publicist was part of what gave me the confidence to continue my career in public relations. Had it not been for Army’s generous and professorial treatment of me, I don’t thing I’d still be in the media communications business (as it’s called now). And I’ve been in it for 35 plus years.
    I have to say something regarding a really stupid comment that was made on this blog. Anyone who would criticize Army’s artistry as a journalist is both uniformed and mean spirited. If anyone, such as it appears one person has made a negative comment here, does so, it’s because they are unable to face their own failures in life. As President Kennedy said, “Those who sought power by riding the back of a tiger, often ended up inside.” To that person who made such a negative and rude comment, I have to respond. That person should not be so stupid as to be unaware that tens of millions of people are joined in a continuing tribute. We know that he is the best and the brightest in the media when it comes to writing about movies, television, music,theater and the new media and most of all the stars of all of the above.
    Army Archerd has already received at least an honorary Oscar from the hearts of those of us so grateful for his hard work and his excellence in journalism about Hollywood. He remains an unmatched journalist in terms of his integrity and devotion to his work and we are all very much aware of that and grateful for it.

  2. Army Archerd is one of the truly great journalists of our time, maintaining the highest level of integrity while crossing all areas of the media, not just Hollywood. Even those who praise his work fall short of the level of achievement he continues to accomplish in his role as an icon of his craft. Anyone who would doubt the integrity of his character, or his reporting, or criticize his writing, is at once transparent in terms of their towering stupidity. A good journalist will draw criticism because of their devotion to the truth in what they report no matter what the consequences. Army Archerd is such a journalist. I’ve known him for nearly four decades, and from the day I first was told to deliver an item to him by the head of Universal Studios’ t.v. p.r. department, Army treated me with incredible respect. I will never forget that when the receptionist called inside to him, and I
    didn’t have to wait (in the lobby of his world famous newspaper, Daily Variety), nor was I told to leave my envelope at the front desk, as I had been told at all the other publications on my rounds with other news. With Army, there was no pretense attached though he was most important entertainment writer in Hollywood. He could call any star or studio mogul, producer at their home. That included such stars and luminaries as Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda,Robert Altman, James Coburn, Stanley Kubrick,Peter Bogdanovich, Sidney Pollack, and literally hundreds of other powerful stars, studio execs, producers, agents, or power p.r. people, directly regarding anything from personal rumors to real news. Above all, everyone in positions of great power — trusted him then and do still do to this day.
    Army has never taken advantage of a source about a story. More often than not(and it continues to this day), the stars or movie moguls call Army because they trust him to print the truth. They also trust him to be told of stories that have been rumored or erroneously reported, even though they want the truth to be withheld for personal reasons. Army has never crossed the line of journalism vs. sensationalism, and that has earned him the trust of the entire population of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry.
    I remember in my fledgling days as a publicist that when I arrived at the famed Daily Variety newspaper, an oracle of the showbiz industry, to deliver an exclusive item from Universal Studio’s p.r. chief to Army, I was not brushed off. No one told me that,”Army was too busy” to see me (though he had never even met me). He was, and still is, the most important and internationally respected reporter in Hollywood. And on my first day’s task, to deliver this exclusive item to Army for his column, he invited me to sit with him, even while it was obvious he was on a deadline for his column and his phone was ringing every ten seconds. He made me the focus of his valuable attention. I will never forget that. The decency he paid me as a junior publicist was part of what gave me the confidence to continue my career in public relations. Had it not been for Army’s generous and professorial treatment of me, I don’t thing I’d still be in the media communications business (as it’s called now). And I’ve been in it for 35 plus years.
    I have to say something regarding a really stupid comment that was made on this blog. Anyone who would criticize Army’s artistry as a journalist is both uniformed and mean spirited. If anyone, such as it appears one person has made a negative comment here, does so, it’s because they are unable to face their own failures in life. As President Kennedy said, “Those who sought power by riding the back of a tiger, often ended up inside.” To that person who made such a negative and rude comment, I have to respond. That person should not be so stupid as to be unaware that tens of millions of people are joined in a continuing tribute. We know that he is the best and the brightest in the media when it comes to writing about movies, television, music,theater and the new media and most of all the stars of all of the above.
    Army Archerd has already received at least an honorary Oscar from the hearts of those of us so grateful for his hard work and his excellence in journalism about Hollywood. He remains an unmatched journalist in terms of his integrity and devotion to his work and we are all very much aware of that and grateful for it.

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