Paul Newman would’ve celebrated his 95th birthday on January 26, 2020. The Oscar-winning legend appeared in dozens of films throughout his lengthy career, but how many of those titles are classics? In honor of his birthday, let’s take a look back at 20 of Newman’s greatest movies, ranked worst to best.
For years Newman was the perpetual Oscar bridesmaid, racking up failed Best Actor nominations for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958), “The Hustler” (1961), “Hud” (1963), “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “Absence of Malice” (1981), and “The Verdict” (1982), as well as a Best Picture bid for producing “Rachel, Rachel” (1968). The Academy handed him an Honorary Award in 1985, only to give him a competitive prize the very next year for “The Color of Money” (1986). He scored subsequent bids in lead for “Nobody’s Fool” (1994) and supporting for “Road to Perdition” (2002).
The actor enjoyed a lengthy career behind the camera as well, winning the Golden Globe and competing at the Directors Guild Awards for helming “Rachel, Rachel,” which brought his wife, Joanne Woodward, a Best Actress Oscar bid.
Newman’s extensive charity work brought him the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. He and Woodward jointly received the SAG Life Achievement prize in 1986 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1992.
On the small screen, Newman won an Emmy as Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Empire Falls” (2005), for which he also competed as a producer in Best Limited Series. He previously contended for directing “The Shadow Box” in 1981 and starring in “Our Town” in 2003.
Tour our photo gallery of Paul Newman’s greatest movies, including a few for which he should’ve won Oscars.