Paul Newman - Indianapolis, Indiana

by Mimi
(Hilton Head Island, SC, USA)

When the Paul Newman movie, "Winning," was being filmed in 1969 at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway, locals who performed key functions in the previous year's race were tapped to play themselves in the movie. Luckily for me, I had been the "Indianapolis 500 Festival Queen" whose primary role was to kiss the winner. So, that's how I spent an unforgettable day kissing Paul Newman.


Since it was raining and the crew gave a lot of attention to details, there were numerous takes, which I quit counting after ten. Not only was Newman kind, funny, and gracious, but also a terrific kisser! He noted that our first kiss was a little too provocative.

Clu Gulager was also in the movie, and I was thrilled to meet the star who played Sheriff Emmett Ryker on "The Virginian," one of my favorite TV shows at the time. Joanne Woodward wasn't on location that day, but I was assigned to her trailer for make-up, hair, and breaks.

You will find a movie trailer of "Winning," which includes Mr. Newman and me (Mimi Littlejohn) kissing, at the New York Times website for movie reviews.



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Apr 27, 2013
I was there too !
by: Pat

Hi Mimi, I was at the Indy 500 also while they were filming the movie "Winning". They allowed the general public to be at the taping of the movie and to act as the audience during the race. Paul Newman has always been my Moms favorite actor, so we were in the stands for 3 days in a row, and yes it raining some of those days. I was only 12 at the time, but it was an exciting time that I will always remember. I can remember when they needed a girl to stand next to Richard Thomas to be his girlfriend in one of the scenes they chose a young lady from the audience to play the part. My older sister wanted to play that part so bad, but wasn't chosen. The girl they did choose was a little too tall for Richard, so they made him stand on a box. My sister was standing very close to Paul Newman once when he was in the racing car and driving gear. It was very hot and humid and he was sweaty and uncomfortable. A woman near my sister made the comment "I think if he smiled his face would break". Paul thought it was my sis that made the comment, so he looked at her, smiled and said "It didn't hurt a bit". We got to meet Clu Gulagar and got his autograph and a pic took with him (I still have it). We also met Robert Wagoner, but didn't find him as nice as Clu was. We didn't get to see the scene with you in it, I guess that was filmed at a different time. It must have been a huge thrill to actually kiss the guy. He was so handsome and I think a really good guy. Thanks for letting me go on as I remember some good times in my young life, and thanks for sharing yours as well.

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