Hollywood star Paul Newman was ‘one of the guys’ who pursued his passion for racing, photographer says

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If you want to catch Paul Newman, forget finding him in Hollywood. A movie star could have been on the racetrack.

The actor, who captivated audiences with his dazzling blue eyes on the big screen, had a passion for auto racing. It was something Newman discovered while filming “Winning” in 1969 when he was 43 years old. Racing his bugs stuck with him until his death in 2008 at the age of 83.

Earlier this year, six award-winning photographers who have captured various points in Newman’s decades-long career teamed up for a book titled “Paul Newman: Blue-Eyed Cool.” We shared an intimate snapshot. Photos highlight Newman’s charm and talent from behind the scenes.

Paul Newman is the subject of a new book released earlier this year titled Paul Newman: Blue Eyed Cool.

Paul Newman is the subject of a new book released earlier this year titled Paul Newman: Blue Eyed Cool.
(ACC Art Books)

Capturing the image and essence of iconic figures such as Hunter Thompson, Muhammad Ali, and Bob Hope, Al Satterwhite appeared in the book. He first met driver “PL Newman” in 1974 at his flats at Bonneville Salt in his Illustrated affiliation with the sport.

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“When he’s driving, he’s not a movie star, he’s a racing driver,” Satterwhite recalled to Fox News Digital. “He’s basically around racing people who love racing, and that’s what he wanted. I didn’t want a relationship with him, so we got along well.”

“He’s a very easy person to work with,” Satterwhite shared. “He’s very focused on what he wants in racing and driving – that’s what you want.” [in a photo]The problem was, I think one of the networks showed up shortly after we got there and did our introductions…they decided to shoot this. And while they weren’t invited, somehow they heard about it. . He didn’t want to be on camera. “

Paul Newman discovered his passion for racing while filming 'Winning' directed by James Goldstone.

Paul Newman discovered his passion for racing while filming ‘Winning’ directed by James Goldstone.
(Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

All his life, Newman dreamed of becoming a great athlete, but he never found a sport he could win in. But the race changed everything for the Oscar winner.

“I was never a graceful person,” Neumann once told the Associated Press. “It’s only when we dance together that I really feel in harmony. [my wife] Joanne [Woodward]And that’s not what I do. But when I’m behind the wheel of a race car, I feel competent and in control. It’s something I really enjoy. “

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Satterwhite said he was impressed by the “Cool Hand Luke” icon. There was no fuss with him – he just wanted to race.

Al Satterwhite was on a Sports Illustrated assignment when he first met Paul Newman at a racetrack.

Al Satterwhite was on a Sports Illustrated assignment when he first met Paul Newman at a racetrack.
(Al Satterwhite)

“The first thing you notice about Paul is that he’s basically a normal guy,” Satterwhite explained. you can talk to him about anything and it’s kind of a back and forth…he’s just a human being.he was very passionate about racing.he took it very seriously and he was a movie star I chose ‘PL Newman’ because I wanted people to focus on his skills and not his persona…that was all he wanted to do when he was on the track. “

In rare interviews, Newman was brief and even distant. But when his favorite sport grew up, his eyes lit up.

“I don’t like talking about acting because it’s a business and it’s pretty boring,” Neumann told The Associated Press. I always talk about racing.Sports are far more exciting than anything else I do and nobody cares that I am an actor.I could spend my whole life on the racetrack.”

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Paul Newman didn't want to be seen as a Hollywood star - he just wanted to be. "one of the guys."

Paul Newman didn’t want to be considered a Hollywood star.He just wanted to be “one of the guys.”
(Al Satterwhite)

Newman became the owner of the Can-Am series car and campaigned the car for several top drivers, including Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal and F1 champion Keke Rosberg. . After competing with team his owner Carl His Haas in Can-Am, Newman formed a partnership with a Chicago businessman and in 1983 started his Newman/Haas racing and entered the CART series.

With Mario Andretti hired as the first driver, the team found immediate success. Known as Newman/Haas/Lanigan and part of the IndyCar Series, the team has won 107 races and eight series championships with drivers like Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Cristiano d’Amatta, Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdet. won.

Despite his hectic schedule, Newman came to the track as often as possible. He tried to keep a low profile while walking around the pit lane on his scooter and sitting in his team’s pit box.

Whether watching or driving, Paul Newman tried to keep a low profile. "PL Newman."

Paul Newman tried to keep a low profile as “PL Newman”, both when he was watching and when he was driving.
(Al Satterwhite)

Satterwhite said his approach as a photographer is to “fly the walls.” His camera clicks were almost whispers as engines roared in the distance. Silently, Satterwhite caught his Newman’s supreme happiness.

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“No one is listening to the camera, so he doesn’t realize it,” Satterwhite says. “And I don’t get in his face. I tend to stand a little further back with a long lens because in the race it can be dangerous for the cameramen and the drivers. I don’t want to get in their way. …I would do the same with any other driver.This driver just happened to be Paul Newman.”

“Paul was passionate about racing because it was a skill he learned and could do himself. “It was all about him. Actors tend to be treated differently…you’re just one of the guys.”

Paul Newman looking closely at the 512M Ferrari.

Paul Newman looking closely at the 512M Ferrari.
(Al Satterwhite)

After playing the role of an Indy 500 driver in “Winning,” it was clear Neumann couldn’t rid his system of driving bugs. He began racing sports cars in the amateur division and won his first race in 1972 in Thompson, Connecticut aboard Lotus his Elan. He won the first of his four SCCA National titles in his D production class in 1976, and in 1979 he also won the C production category, 1985 and he won the 1986 In 2010 he won the GT-1 championship.

His first professional victory came in the rain in 1982 at the SCCA Trans-Am race in Brainerd, Minnesota. Newman added another Trans-Am win in 1986 at his track home in Lime Rock, Connecticut.

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Even after his 80th birthday, he remained in demand. He managed to combine acting and racing by providing the voice of a surly car built in 1951 in the 2006 Disney/Pixar hit Cars.

Paul Newman's passion for racing continued until his death.

Paul Newman’s passion for racing continued until his death.
(Al Satterwhite)

Newman drove his last race as a professional at the 2005 24 Hours of Daytona, taking a hot lap around his beloved Lime Rock Park.

Satterwhite said he met Newman over the years – right on the track. And today, he hopes his photos show readers how his Newman feels at home.

“He was just a normal person,” said Satterwhite. “And I think it shows in the photos.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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