Paul Newman had the Cool Hand… But Morgan Woodward was the Icon

I’ve written before about the three most famous people I ever interviewed: Wilt Chamberlain, H. Ross Perot and Jerry Lee Lewis.

But back in my university days, I also interviewed “The Man with No Eyes”, who was cooler than all three of them put together.

Remember him? The Walking Boss from Cool Hand Luke?

He was the unforgettable icon from “Luke”, even though the movie had two big stars — Paul Newman and George Kennedy. It also included brilliant character actor Strother Martin, who delivered the epic line, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

Notwithstanding Newman’s baby blue eyes, the abiding image from “Luke” was of the Man With No Eyes.

Those dark reflective sunglasses and his expressionless, acne-scarred face, made him seem meaner and more dangerous than a rattlesnake.

Back in 1967, many of the nation’s top film critics said he was a contender for the Academy Award in a supporting role. More recently, Roger Ebert wrote: “that he does not speak adds to his stature as a fearsome icon.”

Yep. Rattlesnakes don’t need to say much to make their point.

Anything else?

I couldn’t think of any other parts that Woodward had played. So I Googled him and then, of course, I remembered a lot of his roles, some tiny and some pretty big.

“Gone Native” Capt. Ron Tracey on Star Trek

 Bad guy Drago in ‘Gunpoint’ (Starring Audie Murphy)

Morgan was in more than  250 other movies and TV shows.

He holds the record for having done the most guest starring roles on “Gunsmoke” (19) and “Wagon Train” (11).

He even played a giant lizard named “Cayman of the Lamda Zone.”

But his claim to fame was that bit part in Cool Hand Luke.

That’s it for today.  Nothing major.

I was just remembering the Man With No Eyes.

Cool Hand Luke.


Click here to buy a $25 autographed photo of the Man With No Eyes, from Morgan Woodward’s own website. (Ladies, this would be an awesome gift for the studly middle-age man in your life).

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