82-year old Paul Newman apparently announced his retirement on Thursday's Good Morning America, declaring "I'm not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to." He also added: "You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that's pretty much a closed-book for me ... I've been doing it for 50 years. That's enough." Newman's last major role in a film was as an elderly Irish gangster John Rooney in Sam Mendes' underrated 2002 film Road to Perdition, and he had a role in the recent Pixar film, Cars, which is unseen by me. The host of the program didn't ask Newman about A Walk in the Woods, which was supposed to be his big reunion film with Robert Redford. The project, which would have been based on Bill Bryson's book, is about an author who hikes across some American wilderness with his pal. So scratch that, I guess.
I'm not sure what roles Newman will be most remembered for, but I do think that, as the years go on, The Hustler and Cool Hand Luke will continue to climb higher and higher on the list of critically-acclaimed films. The Newman performance in each film is as good, in my opinion, as any work Brando ever did. There's also Hud, which seems to be gaining in respectability as the years ago on. Sadly, his pairing with Hitchcock only produced the yawn-worthy Torn Curtain, and like every other actor, he had his share of real turkeys, but overall, I think Newman can hang up his spurs safe in the knowledge that his legacy is secure.