Paul Newman truly was a one-of-a-kind movie star, a man whose talents and screen presence are so rare to find. The esteemed actor led a pretty wild life off-screen though, so wild in fact that he once left a car in the living room of his good friend Robert Redford as a practical joke.
The late actor began his career way back in 1949, appearing in various TV series before making his big screen debut in the 1954 romance movie The Silver Chalice. From there on, Newman played a role in some of the best movies of all time, and became one of the most iconic performers to ever grace our screens. Despite ten Oscar nominations, he won just once, for the ‘80s movie The Color of Money.
One of his more famous roles was in the 1969 hit Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where he played the titular role opposite Robert Redford. To mark Newman’s passing in 2008, Redford spoke fondly of his co-star and friend to ABC News, including the pranks they played on one another.
“Paul really likes to have fun and he loves to laugh and he really especially loves to laugh at his own jokes, and some of them are just really awful,” Redford recalled. “So the fact that he enjoyed them so much, you forget about the joke and you’d start to laugh with him because you’re so caught up in his enjoyment of them.”
Newman was a racing car fanatic too, something that Redford used to his advantage when plotting a practical joke for his western movie co-star’s 50th birthday.
“I happened, in Connecticut, to find a trashed Porsche and it was just totally demolished and I had them wrap it up and leave it on his kitchen back step, wrapped in paper with a ribbon around it, that said ‘Happy 50th,'” Redford mused.
Not willing to let Redford get the last laugh, Newman returned the favour, quite literally. Only this time, the car was left in Redford’s living room. The car eventually was turned into a garden sculpture, which Redford left in Newman’s garden.
If you want to take a look at some of Hollywood’s more classic actors, here’s our list of the best Clint Eastwood movies. Or how about checking out our list of the best Tom Cruise movies to see if The Color of Money made the cut.