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A.E. Hotchner first met Paul Newman in 1956, when the relatively unknown actor assumed the role James Dean was to play in Hotchner's first television play, based on an Ernest Hemingway story. The project elevated both men from relative obscurity to stardom, and commenced a close and trusted friendship that lasted until Newman's death in 2008.
In A Friendship, Hotchner presents a complicated, unpredictable and talented man and leads the reader through their shared adventures. The pair travelled extensively around the globe, and owned fishing boats that involved them in embarrassing incidents. They successfully defended themselves before a jury in a ludicrous two-year trial, and triumphed in a beery tennis match against Robert Redford and Jack Valenti. Most notably, they started a food company, Newman's Own, as a prank and watched it soar into a major enterprise that has given all its 200 million dollars of profits to charities.
Hotchner's knowledge of Newman is unparalleled, and as a gifted storyteller he brings to the reader crucial insights Newman revealed about himself.
A Friendshipis the story of an unusual friendship and a tribute to the beloved actor who gave to the world as much as the world gave him.
Author and playwright Hotchner (Papa Hemingway) met Paul Newman in 1955, when the unknown actor took over for James Dean in Hotchner's first teleplay, beginning a friendship that lasted until the legendary actor's 2008 death. Chronicling that friendship, Hotchner presents a meandering collection of stories about their times and projects, including the successful business they started together. Vignettes feature the two fishing, traveling, and developing the Newman's Own brand, spreading the familiar news of Newman's nice-guy reputation, rigorous preparation for specific roles, penchant for practical jokes, philanthropic efforts, political involvement and disdain for rules. Though there's no question that the relationship between them ran deep-one passage finds Newman confiding his guilt over the drug-related death of his son, Scott-the author places himself in the middle of every story, resorts to frequent namedropping, and quotes extensively from private conversations that took place decades ago, giving the proceedings a queasy current of self-regard that could rub fans the wrong way.