The legendary actor, Paul Newman, whose steely blue eyes, humor and charm to promote worthy causes made him one of the most renowned figures in the arts of America, has died of cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.
Newman rose to stardom in the 1950s and never lost his movie-star aura, appearing in such classic films as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Exodus,” “The Hustler,” “Cool Hand Luke” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” “The Sting” and “The Verdict”.
Finally, he won an Oscar in 1986 – in his eighth try – for “The Color of Money,” a sequel of “The Hustler”. Later received two more Oscar nominations. Among his other awards was the Academy of Motion Picture Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
“Paul took advantage of what life offered, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, which forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humor and humanity,” said Robert Forrester, vice president of the actor’s Newman’s Own Foundation. “His legacy lives on the charitable organizations that supported and the hole in the wall Camps, for caring so much.”
He was often willing to laugh at himself. Early in his career he was confused with fellow Method actor Marlon Brando, Newman obligingly signed autographs, “Best wishes, Marlon Brando.”
Newman was a trained method actor who charted his own career track and not shun the roles of risk – inside and outside the movies.
An image as a race car driver in 1969’s “winner” led to their competition in races; to 70, participated in the 24 Hours of Daytona and was still racing at age 80.
He Stump of liberal causes, including the 1968 Eugene McCarthy presidential nomination, and won a place on Richard Nixon’s enemies list – “the highest single honor I’ve received,” he said.
In 1982, Newman and his friend AE Hotchner founded Newman’s Own, a food company that produces food ranging from pasta sauces to dip chocolate chip cookies.
“The shame is that the dressing is outgrossing my movies,” Newman once took note of irony.
To date, the company – which donates all profits to charities such as Newman’s Hole in the Wall camps – has given away more than $ 200 million. Newman established the camp for the benefit of seriously ill children.
“He saw the camps as places where children can escape the fear, pain and isolation of their conditions, kick back and raise a little hell,” said Forrester.
Today, there are 11 holes in the wall camps around the world, with additional programs in Africa and Vietnam. Some 135,000 children have attended the camps – for free.
The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps “is part of his legacy of life, and for that we remain ever grateful,” the association said in a statement.
“We are greatly saddened by his death. His leadership and spirit can never be replaced. But he has left us strong and confident.”
Newman was one half of one of the most successful shows marriages – to Joanne Woodward, whom he married in 1958. He noted that the fact that he was a sex symbol there was no reason to commit adultery.
“Why would I go out for a hamburger when [I] have steak at home?” He asked.
Newman’s daughters said described him as a devoted husband, a loving father, a grandfather and a worship dedicated philanthropist.
“Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to recognize what he was doing was special,” they said in a statement. “Intensely private, who quietly succeeded beyond the extent to which they affect the lives of so many with his generosity.
“Whenever and until the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for their good fortune. In his own words:” It was a privilege to be here. ”
The statement called upon the privacy of the family Newman.
Larry King of CNN, interviewed Newman who over the years, said he admired very much the actor.
“He lived a long and terrible life,” said King on Saturday morning. “He was very much appreciated. Is it true theater, graduated from Yale. Largo marriage to Joanne Woodward. One of the oddities of the show.”
Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. His father owned a successful sporting goods store, youth, but Paul was taken with his mother and uncle’s interest in the arts and began acting while still in elementary school.
“I was not running toward the theater, but fleeing from the sporting goods store,” he said later.
After being expelled from the University of Ohio for unruly behavior, he joined the Navy and served for three years during World War II. After the war he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where his disorderly way took him to the theater.
Newman continued to study acting at Yale and New York players Studio, winning jobs in the growing medium of television.
He made his Broadway debut in 1953 in the William Inge play “picnic”, opposite Kim Stanley, one of the most successful stage actresses of her time. The following year he made his first Hollywood movie, “The Silver Chalice,” a bomb that made fun of him for the rest of his life. Even took out a newspaper ad apologizing for his actions.
But success as boxer Rocky Graziano in “Somebody up there Likes Me” (1956) made him a star, and more blows followed: “The Long, Hot Summer” (1958) in front of his soon-to-be wife , Woodward, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958) with Elizabeth Taylor, and “The Young Philadelphians” (1959).
But the 1960s were the decade of Newman, a perfect combination for its ironic, anti-establishment attitude.
and started the decade with “Exodus” (1960), an epic about the founding of Israel headed by Otto Preminger, and had success with “The Hustler” (1961) as the pool shark Fast Eddie Felson, “Sweet Bird of Youth” (1962), another Tennessee Williams work, and “Hud” (1963), “Harper” (1966), and “Man” (1967), continuing a streak of good luck of the films beginning with “H.”
After “cool hand Luke” (1967), which played the egg-eating title character malcontent, was re-directed, to win her raves behind the camera work in “Rachel, Rachel” (1968), starring his wife.
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) and “The Sting” (1973), Newman teamed with co-star Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill. The trio proved to be box office gold: They were two of the most high-gross movies of its time, earn a lot of prizes – including a best picture Oscar for the latter, a tale of men in Chicago 1930.
Newman eventually partnered with Steve McQueen, who had been scheduled to be his co-star in “Butch Cassidy” in 1974 “The Set Inferno.” Although the Irwin Allen disaster movie got mixed reviews ads, which also was one of the biggest box office successes of films of the era. Newman’s career began faltering in the late’70s and turned his attention to his other activities, including racing. The loss of his son Scott to a drug overdose in 1978, the actor hit hard.
He made a return of the art 1982 with “The Verdict”, the story of an ambulance-chasing lawyer in the tough luck that Newman appeared broken, raspy and every inch of his 57 years.
At the time Newman starred in “The Color of Money,” directed by Martin Scorsese, film of his career had slipped a notch. Never afraid to play his age, Newman portrayed a repressed businessman in 1990’s “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” a cantankerous tenant in “Nobody’s Fool” (1994), a fatherly, retired gangster in “Road to Perdition” (2002), and the voice of a Hudson Hornet in “Cars” (2006).
He obtained some of his best reviews for his performance as a stage director in a Broadway production of Thornton Wilder’s classic play “Our Town”, filmed for television in 2003, and is perfectly cast as the rascally father of Ed Harris’ responsible diner owner in the miniseries “Empire Falls”.
In recent years, Newman talked about doing another movie with his friend Redford, but the two could not settle on a script. In 2007, Newman said he was retiring from acting, saying he had lost confidence in his abilities. However, marveled that on its own strength.
Goodbye Paul . . .