Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman, 1925-2008

From the NY Daily News
Ten-time Oscar nominee Paul Newman, creator of iconic movie anti-heroes in "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," has died after a battle with cancer.
The 83-year-old screen legend with the piercing blue eyes died Friday at his farmhouse near Westport, Conn., said publicist Jeff Sanderson. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
Word of his illness leaked earlier this year after Newman, citing health issues, dropped out of directing a fall production of "Of Mice and Men."
Newman, in addition to his cinematic brilliance in more than 60 movies, became known as a director, race car driver and philanthropist.
He won three Oscars - two honorary, and one for the Martin Scorsese-directed "The Color of Money." Newman reprised his memorable role as pool shark "Fast Eddie" Felson from "The Hustler" to capture the 1986 award.
Newman always appeared high up on any list of screen legends, box office stars or sex symbols.
In 1982, along with writer A.E. Hotchner, he founded "Newman's Own," a company that began producing salad dressing and now also makes pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, salsa and dog food. Newman once sampled the dog food on an appearance on the Jay Leno show.
His share of the profits of "Newman's Own" goes to charity - as of 2006 he had already contributed more than $220 million. Newman joked about the "embarrassment" that "my salad dressing grosses more than my movies."
One of the charities he founded is the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, a camp for terminally ill children.
Although he played the leads in "The Desperate Hours" and Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" on Broadway in the '50s, just around the time his movie career was taking off, he didn't receive his first Tony nomination until 2003, when, at 78, he played the role of the Stage Manager in "Our Town."
Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Jan. 26, 1925. His father owned a dry-goods store where he briefly worked.
He was training as a pilot during World War II but stopped because he was color blind, instead serving as a Navy radio operator.
After the war he attended Kenyon College, where he met and married his first wife, Jackie Witte. They had three children, Scott, Susan and Stephanie; Scott died in 1978 of a drug overdose.
He was "discovered" by two New York agents while studying at the Yale School of Drama. They quickly found him work in the burgeoning world of TV drama.


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