The relationship between Robert Redford and Paul Newman, two of the most legendary actors of all time, blossomed on screen as they worked together on an iconic film. Paul Newman was signed to star in the 1968 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and the studio wanted another established name to co-star with him in the buddy flick. Both Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando were names executives were looking for on the project, but Newman struggled to have Redford, who was a newcomer at the time, play his partner, as Redford told Esquire in 2017. The two drew what better than the other, which led to a blossoming friendship. “And then as the movie progressed, we both put our movie characters aside and became friends,” Redford told Esquire.

In addition to mutual respect for each other’s craft, Redford and Newman bonded over laughter. “We developed this relationship that was filled with a lot of pranks and tricks between us, just a lot of fun,” Redford told Esquire. They maintained the friendship for decades, and Redford believed their bond even transcended Newman’s death in 2008. “It became a long-standing friendship that still exists, even though she’s no longer with us,” the star revealed to the outlet.

Not long after the iconic “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” the two collaborated on another classic film, but their friendship was forged offscreen. Read on to see why the two actors were so close.

How they came together as friends

Robert Redford Paul Newman Sting

In 1973, Robert Redford and Paul Newman teamed up once again on the big screen for “The Sting,” which was beloved by critics and audiences alike. «After ‘Butch Cassidy’ we became very good friends. ‘The Sting just fell into place naturally,’ Redford told the Toronto Star in 2015. Their joint professional success helped, but what really cemented their friendship was the fact that Redford moved to Connecticut at the time, living just a mile from your friend’s house. This period made the actors incredibly close friends as they learned more about each other. “What we, I think we discovered over time, was that the things that made us friends had a lot to do with values, what we consider valuable in society,” Redford told Esquire.

Although Newman was famous for portraying measured characters who often possessed stoic qualities, Redford revealed that his friend was, in fact, quite anxious in most cases. “He was a nervous, talkative guy who was always a nail-biter,” Redford told the Toronto Star. “He used to chain smoke, before he quit, and he always drank beer. He was a very nervous guy ». Another Newman personality trait that not many people saw, but was a staple in the actors’ friendship, was that he was a prankster who loved to joke. Read on to see how Redford and Newman engaged in epic prank wars.

The joke gift that Robert Redford bought Paul Newman for his birthday

Paul Newman Robert Redford

According to Robert Redford, his friend Paul Newman loved to tell jokes, even if no one else was laughing. “What moved is that Paul really likes to have fun and he loves to laugh and he really loves to laugh at his own jokes, and some of them are really horrible,” Redford said on “World News with Charles Gibson” after he died. the screen legend, according to ABC News. Humor was a staple in their relationship and they played pranks on each other.

Redford recalled buying Newman (a reputed car lover) a wrecked Porsche on his 50th birthday, according to ABC. The actor bowed to the wrecked car and left it outside Newman’s home. “I asked them to wrap it up and leave it on the kitchen step … with a ribbon around it that said ‘Happy 50’.” Weeks later, Redford came home to find a jack-in-the-box at his house, filled with that same Porsche that had been compacted.

Redford had to hire laborers to move the metal-filled box, which he had then commissioned a sculptor to create a work of art that was left in Newman’s garden. An unspoken rule between the two actors was that neither could mention the jokes they pulled. “That would lessen it. No. The idea was that you never recognized it,” Redford said. In addition to the gags and funny quips, Redford learned a valuable lesson from Newman.

The Lasting Impression Paul Newman Left

Paul Newman Robert Redford

The two friends formed a dynamic on-screen duo, but didn’t team up after “The Sting” in 1973. “All these years went by and no one came up with any ideas that weren’t cheesy and low-grade, so we decided that that probably wasn’t going to happen,” Robert Redford told the Los Angeles Times in 2005. The two almost reconnected for the movie “A Walk in the Woods” in the late 2000s, but Paul Newman (who was 80 years at the time) resigned. “This made me sad, but I had to accept what he said, but we continue to be friends,” Redford said during a TimesTalks Q&A .

After Newman’s death, Esquire asked Redford if his friend had taught him any valuable life lessons. “Well, it was a big deal and he was always humble,” Redford said. “Friendship was very important to him, and being able to be a real person was very important to him,” the actor added. Whenever Redford was interviewed about his late friend, the “All the President’s Men” star was appreciative. After Newman’s death, Redford knew that many people would have positive stories, but few could understand their enduring connection. “The durability and length of this friendship has created quite a deep root,” Redford said on “World News with Charles Gibson” in 2008 . What a wonderful duo.