Newman’s Own: My Cookie Story

A great American, Paul Newman, died yesterday. I can’t pretend to have known him, but I did bump into him occasionally, usually at the intermission of plays in New York, and always when he had in tow his sainted wife (and I’m not being ironic here: if any woman in American show biz deserves canonization it’s Joanne Woodward). The last time I chatted with Newman was in the lobby of the Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center Theater. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember what show it was. What I remember are: 1) Newman’s eyes, high-beam bright even behind glasses; 2) The way he humbly referred matters he didn’t know about to Woodward; and 3) The almost abrupt way he asked me if I wanted part of the cookie he was eating and, when I demurred, thrust it into my hand, saying with a smile, “You’ll remember this moment; I won’t.” He was right.

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