Stars pay tribute to selfless Paul Newman
Paul Newman, silver screen hero for more than half a century, died this weekend after a long battle with cancer.
The legendary actor passed away at 83, surrounded by his close family and friends at his farmhouse in Connecticut.
Famed for hit roles in movies like Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (1959), Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969), and A Road to Perdition (2003), Newman was nominated for an Oscar ten times, finally winning one in 1987 for his role in The Color of Money.
Last year Newman announced his retirement from films, and among his final roles was the voice of Doc Hudson in the hit family animation, Cars.
But Newman wasn’t just known for his sparkling big screen appearances. Apart from his 50-year marriage to Joanne Woodward, Paul was most proud of his food business Newman’s Own, which, since 1982, has made popcorn, spaghetti sauce and salad dressings, and has donated more than $250 million to charities selected by Newman himself.
Newman leaves behind five adult children: Stephanie and Susan with his first wife, Jacqueline Witte, and Clea, Nell, and Lissy with his wife of 50 years, Joanne Woodward.
His daughters have described their dad as a ‘rare symbol of selfless humility’ in a statement released yesterday.
It reads: ‘Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles. But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee.’
Calling him a ‘loving father’, ‘adoring grandfather’ and a ‘dedicated philanthropist’, his daughters continued: ‘Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special. Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity.
‘Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: ‘”It’s been a privilege to be here.” He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves us with extraordinary inspiration to draw upon.’
Good friend Robert Redford, who twice co-starred with Newman and shared heartthrob status with him in the 70s, has said: ‘There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life – and this country – is better for his being in it.’
The pair sizzled in hit movies Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and, later, in The Sting (1973).
And director Martin Scorsese, who directed Newman in his Best Actor Oscar-winning role in The Color of Money, paid tribute to his silver screen legacy, saying: ‘It’s a great loss, in so many ways.
‘The history of movies without Paul Newman? It’s unthinkable. His presence, his beauty, his physical eloquence, the emotional complexity he could conjure up and transmit through his acting in so many movies – where would we be without him?’