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About Paul Leonard Newman
- Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008) was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver, auto racing team owner and auto racing enthusiast.
Blue-eyed, charming and rascally, Paul Newman was one of the biggest movie stars of the 20th century.
With co-star Robert Redford he was in two of the biggest box office successes in history, 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Newman played Butch and Redford was Sundance) and 1973's The Sting.
Newman was Oscar-nominated as best actor eight times, for films including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958, opposite Elizabeth Taylor), The Hustler (1961, co-starring George C. Scott), and Cool Hand Luke (1967).
He went Oscar-less until 1985, when he was given an honorary Academy Award for his distinguished body of work; the next year he won the best actor Oscar for his role in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money (1986, co-starring Tom Cruise).
He also directed several films, including Rachel, Rachel (1968), Sometimes A Great Notion (1971, based on the novel by Ken Kesey) and Harry and Son (1984).
With his friend A.E. Hotchner, he founded the "Newman's Own" line of salad dressing in 1982, with the proceeds going to charity. The company expanded into many other foods (including "Fig Newman" cookies), and by the time of Newman's death had donated $200 million dollars to charities worldwide.
Newman was born in Shaker Heights (a suburb of Cleveland). He was the son of Theresa (née Fetzer or Fetsko; Slovak: Terézia Fecková) and Arthur Sigmund Newman, who ran a profitable sporting goods store.
His father was Jewish (Paul's paternal grandparents, Simon Newman and Hannah Cohn, were immigrants from Hungary and Poland). His mother, who practiced Christian Science, was born to a Slovak Roman Catholic family at Homonna, Ptičie (formerly Pticsie) in the former Kingdom of Hungary, Austro–Hungarian Empire (now Humenné in Slovakia).
Newman had no religion as an adult, but described himself as a Jew, stating that "it's more of a challenge".Newman's mother worked in his father's store, while raising Paul and his brother, Arthur, who later became a producer and production manager.
Cool Hand Newman, a tough guy to the end, finally succumbs to cancer at 83
By Sharon Churcher and Caroline Graham 28th September 2008
Paul Newman, one of the finest screen actors and the man described as the last of Hollywood’s class acts, has died at the age of 83.
Surrounded by his family at his New England farmhouse, he was holding the hand of his wife Joanne Woodward when the end came. The couple had celebrated 50 years of marriage in January.
Newman had been gravely ill with lung cancer for some months and decided six weeks ago to spend his final days at home.
The Oscar winner, acclaimed director, racing car driver and philanthropist was acknowledged to be one of the few in his profession for whom the epithet ‘living legend’ genuinely applied.
He used his fame to support good causes, donating all the profits from his Newman’s Own food company – more than £125million – to charities and social welfare organisations.
Of his films, it was probably those that paraded his magical on-screen partnership with Robert Redford – Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and The Sting – that remain the best loved.
Last night, in a moving statement, the star’s daughters Susan, Stephanie, Elinor, Melissa and Claire said: ‘Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles. But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee.
‘Devoted husband. Loving father. Adoring grandfather. Dedicated philanthropist. Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special.
‘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.”’ Newman
Newman with Robert Redford in 1969's Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Paul Newman
Speed king: He loved motor sport and in the Seventies became a professional racing driver
Paul Newman with wife Joanne Woodward
Newman and wife Joanne Woodward celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year
Newman began his career in the Fifties and went on to make more than 60 films. And in all that time his star quality never failed him – and neither did his ability to make women’s hearts skip a beat.
For as much as he was a great actor, he was also a sex symbol, famed for his luminous blue eyes, brooding demeanour and non-conformist cool.
Elizabeth Taylor, Newman’s friend and co-star in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, was among those left devastated.
A friend said: ‘She broke down and said, “There’s so few of us left.” They had a great rapport and had been friends a very long time.’ Newman
The screen legend had a passion for fast cars as well as acting
George Clooney said: ‘He set the bar high for the rest of us. Not just actors, but all of us. He will be greatly missed.’ Julia Roberts said: ‘He was my hero.’
Oscar-winning British director Sam Mendes said working with Newman on Road To Perdition in 2002 had been ‘the highlight of my professional life’. He added: ‘To say he was an extraordinary man would be an understatement.’ Big hitter: Newman donned boxing gloves for his role in 1967's Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman Bond star Daniel Craig, who also appeared in Road To Perdition, said: ‘He was one of the greatest screen actors of all time and a beautiful man.’
Newman frequently chose to play uncompromising characters who lived on society’s margins. And friends told how he ‘remained a tough guy to the end’. Two days before his death, which came at 9.30pm on Friday, he told his wife that he was going to stop taking drugs which doctors said would give him a few more days of life. A friend said: ‘Paul knew it was time for him to go. He wanted to go out with dignity. He and his wife made the decision together to let go. He stopped all medication except morphine.’ The former chain smoker had proudly tried to hide his illness from all but his family and a few trusted friends.
His son-in-law Raphael Elkind said that his family did not want a big funeral and instead his ashes would be scattered at the place dearest to his heart – the children’s camp in Ashford, Connecticut. His charity had helped build several such camps for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Mr Elkind, married to Newman’s daughter Melissa, said: ‘She told me that when she got to the house her father said to her, “I’m ready.” 'His body was tired and he was ready to go. He left on his terms, quietly and with great dignity.’ His comments were echoed by the American playwright A. E. Hotchner, the actor’s business partner. He said: ‘Paul was most like his character in Cool Hand Luke – even when life beat up on him, he stayed optimistic.
'He prepared for death as if he was preparing for one final car race. He didn’t dwell on the outcome but he was determined to keep his foot flat on the pedal to the end.’ He added: ‘Joanne is devastated. Paul was her life.’ Robert Redford said: ‘There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life – and this country – was better for his being in it.’ Newman worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Lauren Bacall and Tom Hanks. He also appeared with his wife in several films including Long Hot Summer, Paris Blues and From The Terrace.
His last film role was as the voice of Doc Hudson – a famous but ageing racing car – in the Pixar animation Cars. It was perhaps a fitting epitaph for the actor, who had a lifelong fascination with the sport. He put his film career on hold in the Seventies to become a professional driver and took second place at Le Mans in 1979.
Actor, producer, writer, director, activist, race car driver, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing, entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of Newman's Own and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, Paul Newman on marriage: “I’ve repeatedly said that for people who have as little in common as Joanne and myself, we have an uncommonly good marriage. We are actors. We make pictures and that’s about all we have in common. Maybe that’s enough. Wives shouldn’t feel obligated to accompany their husbands to a ball game, husbands do look a bit silly attending morning coffee breaks with the neighborhood wives when most men are out at work. Husbands and wives should have separate interests, cultivate different sets of friends and not impose on the other ... You can’t spend a lifetime breathing down each other’s necks ... We are very, very different people and yet somehow we fed off those varied differences and instead of separating us, it has made the whole bond a lot stronger.”
Please see this news item from November 4, 2010: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/
Paul Newman's Timeline
January 26, 1925
Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States
January 29, 1958
Las Vegas, NV
September 26, 2008