Paul Newman, known for his iconic roles in movies like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting,” and “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” surprises many with his most profitable film being the 2006 Pixar animated movie, “Cars.” Despite not physically appearing in the film, Newman lent his voice to the character Doc Hudson, a multi-talented car who served as a physician, judge, and former Piston Cup racer, embodying an anthropomorphized automotive world.
“Cars” follows the journey of Lightning McQueen, a spirited race car voiced by Owen Wilson, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he finds himself stranded in a forgotten town. Alongside Wilson and Newman, the movie boasts a supporting cast including Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, and Cheech Marin.
This Pixar creation, which marked the beginning of a highly successful franchise for Disney, proved to be a major hit at the box office. With an impressive $60,119,509 opening and a staggering $461,983,149 global gross, “Cars” not only raked in significant profits but also holds the distinction of being Paul Newman’s highest-grossing movie ever—surpassing even the success of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Despite Newman’s acclaimed acting career, which earned him accolades like an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, “Cars” serves as a testament to the unpredictability of film success. It’s a reminder that a film’s critical acclaim doesn’t always align with its commercial triumph, showcasing how audience preferences can diverge from the opinions of critics.
Given Newman’s genuine passion for auto racing beyond his acting career, voicing a character in a movie that combines his love for cars and storytelling likely brought him immense joy and satisfaction.