Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here's to you Paul Newman

It was announced Saturday that beloved actor and humanitarian Paul Newman died of lung cancer at the age of 83. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1925, Newman first made his mark on the stage and TV but his startling good looks and undeniable presence destined him to appear on the screen. Newman often played troubled characters with streaks of nobility such as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler, Hud Bannon in Hud and the imprisoned rebel, Cool Hand Luke. But it was his role as Butch in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, opposite Robert Redford, that thrust him into superstardom. He followed it with other classic films including The Sting, The Towering Inferno, Slap Shot, and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. He was nominated for 10 Oscars in his five-decade-long career, winning the best actor accolade for his role opposite Tom Cruise in The Color Of Money in 1986. He also won two Golden Globe awards, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Cannes Film Festival award and an Emmy award.

But of all the awards Newman received in his lifetime, none seem more meaningful than his honorary 1994 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which acknowledged Newman for his extensive philanthropic work. His charitable giving, from his Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, (a camp for seriously ill children) to the proceeds from Newman’s Own, are legendary. The proceeds from the Newman's Own brand have brought in more than $250 million in charity donations. And following the death of his only son Scott from an accidental drug overdose in 1978, he set up the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention.

Newman is survived by his wife of 50 years actress Joanne Woodward, their three daughters, Elinor, Melissa & Claire, and his two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, from his first marriage to Jackie Witte.
Thanks for making a difference in the world.

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