I’ll never forget seeing him zip around the Long Beach Grand Prix on his moped year after year.
R.I.P. Kind sir…
Hollywood legend Paul Newman has died at the age of 83 having lost his lengthy battle with cancer.
Newman – whose brilliant blue eyes, good looks and talent made him one of Tinseltown’s top actors over six decades – died on Friday at his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut, surrounded by his family and close friends.
He appeared in some 60 films – including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Sting – earning him nine Oscar nominations for acting and the best actor honour for 1986’s The Color of Money.
The movie heart-throb created Newman’s Own Foundation, a private independent foundation, to carry on his commitment of donating to charity all profits and royalties he earns from the sale of Newman’s Own products.
The foundation’s vice-chairman, Robert Forrester, paid tribute, saying: “Paul Newman’s craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all.
“Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one’s life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were. True to his character, he quietly devoted himself to helping offset this imbalance.”
He continued: “An exceptional example is the legacy of Newman’s Own. What started as something of a joke in the basement of his home, turned into a highly-respected, multi-million dollar a year food company.
“And true to form, he shared this good fortune by donating all the profits and royalties he earned to thousands of charities around the world, a total which now exceeds $250 million.
“While his philanthropic interests and donations were wide-ranging, he was especially committed to the thousands of children with life-threatening conditions served by the Hole in the Wall Camps, which he helped start over 20 years ago.
“He saw the camps as places where kids could escape the fear, pain and isolation of their conditions, kick back, and raise a little hell. Today, there are 11 camps around the world, with additional programs in Africa and Vietnam.
“Through the camps, well over 135,000 children have had the chance to experience what childhood was meant to be.”
The actor himself said: “I wanted to acknowledge luck; the chance and benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others, who might not be allowed the good fortune of a lifetime to correct it.”
Mr Forrester went on: “Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humour, and humanness.
“His legacy lives on in the charities he supported and the Hole in the Wall Camps, for which he cared so much.
“We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person.”
Newman was born in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Shaker Heights. He briefly attended Ohio University before joining the US Navy, where he served as a radio operator and gunner in torpedo bombers in World War II.
After the war ended, he returned to college and graduated in 1949, when he enrolled at Yale University to study acting and subsequently joined Lee Strasberg’s Actors’ Studio in New York City.
Newman made his debut on Broadway and starred in his first movie in 1954 when he played boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me, later followed by Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Elizabeth Taylor.
His films The Hustler, in 1961, Harper in 1966 and Cool Hand Luke in 1967 made him a global superstar.
Newman teamed up with fellow actor Robert Redford for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969 and they were reunited for The Sting in 1973.
Newman was twice married. He wed Jackie Witte in 1949 and the marriage ended in 1958. The couple had a son and two daughters. In 1978, his son Scott died of a drug overdose and the star opened the Scott Newman Centre for drug rehabilitation.
In 1958, Newman married actress and fellow Oscar-winner Joanne Woodward and they had three daughters together.
The couple had one of Hollywood’s rare long-term marriages. Asked if he had ever been tempted to stray, Newman told Playboy magazine: “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?”.
Newman and Woodward appeared in The Long Hot Summer, and he directed his wife in several films, including Rachel, Rachel and The Glass Menagerie.