Paul Newman and Robert Redford Playing Ping Pong While Filming ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ 1968
When the late great William Goldman wrote ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ he always had Paul Newman in mind. Indeed, Newman was then perhaps the biggest movie star in the world.
Goldman wanted Jack Lemmon for The Sundance Kid, who’d done a 1958 Western called ‘Cowboy’ and seemed like a good fit. Lemmon, however, turned it down and numerous other candidates were approached, including Steve McQueen, Warren Beatty, and Marlon Brando.
Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, later suggested Robert Redford, a stage actor who’d been in a few films but was considered something of a lightweight. Woodward, Newman, and director George Roy Hill all pestered the reluctant 20th Century Fox bosses until they conceded to casting Redford and the rest is history.