|Academy Award winner Paul Newman passes away at 83|
|Written by Administrator|
|Sunday, 28 September 2008 18:00|
WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Paul Newman never much cared for what he once called the "rubbish" of Hollywood, choosing to live in a quiet community on the opposite corner of the U.S. map, staying with his wife of many years and - long after he became bored with acting - pursuing his dual passions of philanthropy and race cars.
And yet despite enormous success in both endeavors and a vile distaste for celebrity, the Oscar-winning actor never lost the aura of a towering Hollywood movie star, turning in roles later in life that carried all the blue-eyed, heartthrob cool of his anti-hero performances in "Hud," ''Cool Hand Luke" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
The 10-time Academy Award nominee died Friday at age 83, surrounded by family and close friends at his Westport farmhouse following a long battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said Saturday.
In May, Newman dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men" at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse, citing unspecified health issues. The following month, a friend disclosed that he was being treated for cancer and Martha Stewart, also a friend, posted photos on her Web site of Newman looking gaunt at a charity luncheon.
But true to his fiercely private nature, Newman remained cagey about his condition, reacting to reports that he had lung cancer with a statement saying only that he was "doing nicely."
As an actor, Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become a legend held in awe by his peers. He won one Oscar and took home two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."
Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in "Butch Cassidy" and "The Sting."
"There is a point where feelings go beyond words," Redford said Saturday. "I have lost a real friend. My life - and this country - is better for his being in it."
Newman sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood's rare long-term marriages. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray. They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in "The Long Hot Summer." Newman also directed her in several films, including "Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."
"Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special," his daughters said in a written statement. "Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity."