Written by: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer
The news of Paul Newman's death sent waves of shock through the Hollywood community this weekend.
The adored thespian, entrepreneur and philanthropist died of lung cancer on Friday at his Westport, Conn., home surrounded by his family and friends. Newman, who was very protective of his privacy, had previously denied rumors of having cancer for over a year.
Newman is survived by his wife of fifty years Joanne Woodward, five daughters and several grandchildren.
Rising to fame in the 1950's Newman starred 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. He won an Oscar in 1986 for The Color of Money, a sequel to The Hustler. His steely blue eyes, cool demeanor and great sense of humor (he was often mistaken for Marlon Brando and signed autographs in his name) made him an icon in the business. Recently he had been nominated for an Oscar yet again – the tenth time – for his part in 2003's Road to Perdition. His career truly spanned generations.
But apart from his accomplishments on the big screen, he was also a renowned humanitarian and philanthropist. He founded the company Newman's Own in 1982, which sold popcorn, spaghetti sauce, lemonade and salad dressing and all it's proceeds go to charities, today already adding up to more than $250 million.
Newman also founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps for seriously ill children and the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention in honor of his son, who died of an overdose.
For all his charitable efforts Newman received the Motion Picture Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Close friend Julia Roberts, who is also on the board of Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, described Newman as her "hero", while two-time costar Robert Redford stated: "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."
Many of the late actor's famous friends – including Julia Roberts, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Warren Beatty and others – will stage a special benefit reading of The World of Nick Adams on Oct. 27 at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.
Though the event was planned before Newman’s death, it will continue as planned, with proceeds benefiting "The Painted Turtle", one of Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps.
Martin Scorsese, who directed Newman in his Oscar-winning performance in The Color of Money, put it best, when he said : "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?"
Indeed, where would we be?
Author: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer
Born in Germany, lived in the US, now in the UK. Always taking my love for TV and writing with me. Life participator. Blogger. Gaming enthusiast.