Dwarf Tossing began in the mid 80s and is still a big attraction grabber in certain parts of the world. Even though many people consider it an offensive sport, I am told little people have made a living off of the events.
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 29 minutes ago
WESTPORT, Conn. - Paul Newman never much cared for what he once called the “rubbish” of Hollywood, choosing to live in a quiet community on the opposite corner of the U.S. map, staying with his wife of many years and — long after he became bored with acting — pursuing his dual passions of philanthropy and race cars.
And yet despite enormous success in both endeavors and a vile distaste for celebrity, the Oscar-winning actor never lost the aura of a towering Hollywood movie star, turning in roles later in life that carried all the blue-eyed, heartthrob cool of his anti-hero performances in “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
The 10-time Academy Award nominee died Friday at age 83, surrounded by family and close friends at his Westport farmhouse following a long battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said Saturday.
In May, Newman dropped plans to direct a fall production of “Of Mice and Men” at Connecticut’s Westport Country Playhouse, citing unspecified health issues. The following month, a friend disclosed that he was being treated for cancer and Martha Stewart, also a friend, posted photos on her Web site of Newman looking gaunt at a charity luncheon.
But true to his fiercely private nature, Newman remained cagey about his condition, reacting to reports that he had lung cancer with a statement saying only that he was “doing nicely.”
As an actor, Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become a legend held in awe by his peers. He won one Oscar and took home two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including “Exodus,” “Butch Cassidy,” “The Verdict,” “The Sting” and “Absence of Malice.”
Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in “Butch Cassidy” and “The Sting.”
"There is a point where feelings go beyond words," Redford said Saturday. "I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it."
Newman sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood’s rare long-term marriages. “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?” Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray. They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in “The Long Hot Summer.” Newman also directed her in several films, including “Rachel, Rachel” and “The Glass Menagerie.”
"Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special," his daughters said in a written statement. "Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity."
With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. New York Times critic Caryn James wrote after his turn as the town curmudgeon in 1995’s “Nobody’s Fool” that “you never stop to wonder how a guy as good-looking as Paul Newman ended up this way.”
But neither his heartthrob looks nor his talent could convince Newman to embrace the Hollywood lifestyle. He was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the majesty of the act offensive.
"Sometimes God makes perfect people," fellow "Absence of Malice" star Sally Field said, "and Paul Newman was one of them."
Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon’s “enemies list,” one of the actor’s proudest achievements, he liked to say.
A screen legend by his mid-40s, he waited a long time for his first competitive Oscar, winning in 1987 for “The Color of Money,” a reprise of the role of pool shark “Fast Eddie” Felson, whom Newman portrayed in the 1961 film “The Hustler.”
In that film, Newman delivered a magnetic performance as the smooth-talking, whiskey-chugging pool shark who takes on Minnesota Fats — played by Jackie Gleason — and becomes entangled with a gambler played by George C. Scott. In the sequel — directed by Scorsese — “Fast Eddie” is no longer the high-stakes hustler he once was, but an aging liquor salesman who takes a young pool player (Cruise) under his wing before making a comeback.
He won an honorary Oscar in 1986 “in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft.” In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.
His most recent academy nod was a supporting actor nomination for the 2002 film “Road to Perdition.” One of Newman’s nominations was as a producer; the other nine were in acting categories. (Jack Nicholson holds the record among actors for Oscar nominations, with 12; actress Meryl Streep has had 14.)
As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO drama “Empire Falls” and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 Hudson Hornet in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, “Cars.”
But in May 2007, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he had given up acting, though he intended to remain active in charity projects. “I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to,” he said. “You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”
Newman also turned to producing and directing. In 1968, he directed “Rachel, Rachel,” a film about a lonely spinster’s rebirth. The movie received four Oscar nominations, including Newman, for producer of a best motion picture, and Woodward, for best actress. The film earned Newman the best director award from the New York Film Critics Circle.
In the 1970s, Newman, admittedly bored with acting, became fascinated with auto racing, a sport he studied when he starred in the 1969 film, “Winning.” After turning professional in 1977, Newman and his driving team made strong showings in several major races, including fifth place in Daytona in 1977 and second place in the Le Mans in 1979.
"Racing is the best way I know to get away from all the rubbish of Hollywood," he told People magazine in 1979.
Newman later became a car owner and formed a partnership with Carl Haas, starting Newman/Haas Racing in 1983 and joining the CART series. Hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver, the team was an instant success, and throughout the last 26 years, the team — now known as Newman/Haas/Lanigan and part of the IndyCar Series — has won 107 races and eight series championships.
"Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and, above all, his generosity," Haas said. "Not just economic generosity, but generosity of spirit. His support of the team’s drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him."
Despite his love of race cars, Newman continued to make movies and continued to pile up Oscar nominations, his looks remarkably intact, his acting becoming more subtle, nothing like the mannered method performances of his early years, when he was sometimes dismissed as a Brando imitator.
Off the screen, Newman was beloved in Westport, the upscale community about an hour north of New York. One of his favorite haunts was Mario’s Place, an eatery that Newman frequented with pals actor James Naughton or writer A.E. Hotchner. He preferred medium-rare hamburgers, with an occasional Heineken.
"He’s such a great human being," owner Frank DeMace said. "I can’t say enough about him."
Former patrolman John Anastasia says Newman regularly played the annual softball game between local celebrities and the town police department. Newman played on the police department’s team.
"He was very much into it, very athletic," Anastasia said. "He didn’t play the part of a celebrity, he played the part of a ballplayer. He was not just there for his good looks."
In 1982, Newman and Hotchner started a company to market Newman’s original oil-and-vinegar dressing. Newman’s Own, which began as a joke, grew into a multimillion-dollar business selling popcorn, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company’s profits are donated to charities. The company had donated more than $250 million, according to its Web site.
"We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person," Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman’s Own Foundation, said in a statement.
Hotchner said Newman should have “everybody’s admiration.”
"For me it’s the loss of an adventurous friendship over the past 50 years and it’s the loss of a great American citizen," Hotchner said.
In 1988, Newman founded a camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.
He and Woodward bought an 18th century farmhouse in Westport, where they raised their three daughters, Elinor “Nell,” Melissa and Clea.
Newman had two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, and a son, Scott, from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Witte. Scott died in 1978 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. After his only son’s death, Newman established the Scott Newman Foundation to finance the production of anti-drug films for children.
Newman was born in Cleveland, the second of two boys of Arthur S. Newman, a partner in a sporting goods store, and Theresa Fetzer Newman. Following World War II service in the Navy, he enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he got a degree in English and was active in student productions.
He later studied at Yale University’s School of Drama, then headed to work in theater and television in New York, where his classmates at the famed Actor’s Studio included Brando, James Dean and Karl Malden.
Newman’s breakthrough was enabled by tragedy: Dean, scheduled to star as the disfigured boxer in a television adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Battler,” died in a car crash in 1955. His role was taken by Newman, then a little-known performer.
Newman started in movies the year before, in “The Silver Chalice,” a costume film he so despised that he took out an ad in Variety to apologize. By 1958, he had won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the shiftless Ben Quick in “The Long Hot Summer.”
In December 1994, about a month before his 70th birthday, he told Newsweek magazine he had changed little with age.
"I’m not mellower, I’m not less angry, I’m not less self-critical, I’m not less tenacious," he said. "Maybe the best part is that your liver can’t handle those beers at noon anymore," he said.
Newman is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.
Associated Press writers Hillel Italie in New York and Josh L. Dickey, Greg Risling and Susan Katz in Los Angeles contributed to this story.
At first I was afraid, I was petrified. When you said you had 10 inches, Lord I almost died! But I’d spent so many years just waiting for a man that long, that I grew strong, and I knew that I could take you on… But there you are, another lie, I was ready for a Big Mac and you’ve brought me a French fry! I should have known that it was bulls***t, just a sad pathetic dream Should have known there was no Anaconda lurking in those Jeans! Go on now - go! , Walk out the door, Don’t you promise me 10 inches, then turn up with only 4! Weren’t you a jerk to think I wouldn’t find you out !? Don’t you know we’re only joking when we say size don’t count [Chorus] I will survive! I will survive! Cuz as long as I have batteries, My sex life’s gonna thrive! I will always have good sex, With a handful of latex! I will survive! I will survive! Hey! Hey! It took all my self control not to laugh out loud, When I saw your little wiener standing tall and proud! But to hell with your ego and to hell with all your needs, Now I’m saving all my lovin’ for a cordless multi-speed! [Chorus] I will survive! I will survive! Cuz as long as I have batteries, My sex life’s gonna thrive! I will always have good sex, With a handful of latex! I will survive! I will survive! Hey! Hey!
“> > >Eddie wanted desperately to have sex with this really > > cute, really hot girl in his office… But she was dating someone else. > > > > > >One day Eddie got so frustrated that he went to her and > > said, “I’ll give you $100 if you let me have sex with you… > > > > > >The girl looked at him, and then said, “NO!” > > > > > >Eddie said, “I’ll be real fast. I’ll throw > > the money on the floor, you bend down and I’ll finish by the time you’ve > picked > > it up. ” > > > > > >She thought for a moment and said that she would > > consult with her boyfriend…So she called him and explained the > > situation. > > > > > >Her boyfriend says, “Ask him for $200, and pick up > > the money really fast. He won’t even be able to get his pants down. ” > > > > > >She agreed and accepts the proposal. > > > > > >Over half an hour goes by and the boyfriend is still > > waiting for his girlfriend’s call. Finally, after 45 minutes the > > boyfriend calls and asks, “What happened…?”Still breathing hard, she > > managed to reply, > > > > > >”The bastard had all quarters!”—MySpace.com: Read Bulletin
“….and then the fight started… When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace > expensive….so, I took her to a gas station….. and then the fight > started…. > > *********************************************************************** > After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social > Security. > > The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver’s license to > verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at > home. > > I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come > back later. > > The woman said, ‘Unbutton your shirt’. > > So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. > > She said, ‘That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me’ and she > processed my Social Security application. > > When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social > Security office. > > She said, ‘You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, > too’ > > And then the fight started….. > > *************************************************************************** > > My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept > staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. > > My wife asked, ‘Do you know her?’ > > ‘Yes,’ I sighed, ‘she’s my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking > right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn’t been sober > since. ’ > > ‘My God!’ says my wife, ‘Who would think a person could go on celebrating that > long?’ > > and then the fight started….. > > > *************************************************************************** > > I rear-ended a car this morning. > > So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his > car. > > You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem > funny? > Yeah, well I couldn’t believe it…. he was a DWARF!!! > > He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, ‘I AM NOT HAPPY!!!’ > > So, I looked down at him and said, ‘Well, then which one are you?’ > > And then the fight started…..”—MySpace.com: Read Bulletin
Back when I was a freshman in college, I met a terribly handsome music major named, er, Scott. Scott was charming and sweet and oh-so-sexy, and we went out on a few dates and had some good times. But, the thing about Scott was that he never shut up. He was haughty and arrogant and I couldn’t stand him. He would ramble on and on and on about everything but nothing ever of any significance or interest. He’d sleep around and tell me all about it to make me “want him.” Odd logic. BUT, we had good times, so, being young, I decided to keep him around for my amusement. I’m a jerk and I’m sorry.
A few months later I was at a party- you know the type. I was sitting around with a group of friends when I feel my phone buzzing in my pocket. It’s Scott. See, Scott had a little obsession with phone sex. “Little” meaning “big”. So, in my brilliantly drunk mind, I decide to answer. Yep, he’s calling for some late night lovin’. He starts up, and I put it on mute, then speaker, so I [and everyone else in the room] can hear him, but he can’t hear us. The room gets deadly quiet and everyone stares at me, trying to stifle the giggles. You have to understand that EVERYONE knew who he was and knew about what a creeper he was. Then the fun began. The boy sitting next to me on the couch grabs the phone and unmutes in, letting out this giant, incredible, porn-worthy moan and quickly mutes it again. I ROARED, as did everyone else. And, to our surprise, he answered with an, “Oooh baby, that’s good.” This went on for about 45 minutes, passing the phone from person to person, all adding their own little touch. He let out a grunt and then an “Ok, I’m done, that was absolutely amazing, thanks babe.” and hung up. We laughed our drunken asses off for a good three weeks after that.
We ended up seeing each other for seven months. No one’s ever told him.
Here’s the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing — the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party — are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women — and to many men too — who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the “white-male-only” sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.
But here is even better news: It won’t work. This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.
Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”
This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can’t do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn’t say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden’s 37 years’ experience.
Palin has been honest about what she doesn’t know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, “I still can’t answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” When asked about Iraq, she said, “I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”
She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she’s won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain’s campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn’t know it’s about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate’s views on “God, guns and gays” ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.
So let’s be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can’t tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.
Palin’s value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
I don’t doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn’t just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn’t just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn’t just echo McCain’s pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.
So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, “women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership,” so he may be voting for Palin’s husband.
Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.
Republicans may learn they can’t appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.
And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.