Paul Newman Passes Away
Paul Newman Passes Away
Hollywood icon and screen legend Paul Leonard Newman passed away Friday, September 26, in his Westport, Connecticut, farmhouse surrounded by his family and close friends. Diagnosed with cancer early this year, Newman was 83 when he died.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, January 26, 1925, Newman was the second son of Arthur and Theresa Fetzer Newman. He grew up in Shaker Heights, an affluent suburb of Cleveland, encouraged by his mother and uncle, Joseph Newman, a well-known poet and journalist, to pursue a career in the arts. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he was graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, with a degree in English. He studied at Yale University’s School of Drama and then went on to New York, where he worked at the Actor’s Studio with classmates such as James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Karl Malden.
Newman got his start in the entertainment business in the 1950s by stepping into the lead role in “The Battler,” originally set to star James Dean, and from there went on to become one of the most respected and beloved stars of all time. He worked with the best in the business, including Elizabeth Taylor, Alfred Hitchcock, Tom Hanks, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, and Robert Redford. Starring in 60 pictures spanning six decades, Newman was nominated for 47 screen awards and won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for 1986’s “The Color of Money,” directed by Martin Scorsese.
He shunned the idea of living in the limelight and kept to himself as much as possible. He avoided giving interviews and autographs and never read reviews of his movies, because, he said, “If they’re good you get a fat head, and if they’re bad you’re depressed for three weeks.”
One aspect of his life Newman was well known for was his abiding love and respect for his wife, Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward. They married in 1958, during which time they were co-starring in “The Long Hot Summer.” Newman also directed Woodward in several films, including “The Glass Menagerie.” Their marriage lasted 50 years.
Besides acting, another passion in Newman’s life was auto racing, a sport he became intrigued with after starring in “Winning” in 1969. He turned pro in 1977 and later became an owner, forming a partnership with Carl Haas in 1983.
Another role Newman played was that of philanthropist. In 1982 he began his company, Newman’s Own, to market his original oil and vinegar salad dressing. The company grew in leaps and bounds to encompass popcorn, beverages, spaghetti sauce, and other food products. All of the company’s profits are donated to charity. To date, Newman’s Own has donated over $250 million to thousands of charities worldwide. Over 20 years ago, Newman also founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps for seriously ill children. The Hole in the Wall Camps are now the largest worldwide family of camps, giving childhood back to children suffering from HIV, cancer, and other serious medical conditions.
Newman is survived by his wife, older brother, five children, and two grandchildren.
Sally Field, who co-starred with Newman in “Absence of Malice,” summed Newman up by saying, “Sometimes God makes perfect people, and Paul Newman was one of them.”