Family, Friends, Fans Remember Paul Newman

By: CBS/AP
By: CBS/AP

(CBS/AP) Fans from around the world on Saturday paid tribute to actor Paul Newman, who died of cancer a day earlier at the age of 83.

In Westport, Conn., where his family has a property, his daughter Lissy, friends and acquaintances expressed sadness but also remembered the great, generous man.

"My father was incredibly strong, and the most important thing for everybody to remember is that now is a good time to reach out to other people, to go and do something philanthropic, to go and care about somebody in some way," Newman's daughter Lissy said.

Frank Demace, owner of Mario's Restaurant, were Newman had eaten for the past 41 years, said he always ate the same thing: a burger, with onions and pickle, and a beer, and always sat at the same table in the back.

In Hollywood, floral tributes were placed on the screen legend's star on the famous Walk of Fame.

Fan Kelly Sovlila said, "I will remember him for 'The Sting' and I will remember those blue eyes."

Locals and tourists took photos and expressed their sadness at the passing of the Academy-Award winner.

"Everybody knows him around the world, this is the reason, you know, this is a really important person in the world cinema, it's really sad," said Maciej Borcz from Poland.

Newman got his start in theatre and on television during the 1950s and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers.

He was nominated for an Oscar 10 times, winning one Best Actor Oscar and two honorary Academy Awards, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers.

He had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions of dollars to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children.

Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon's "enemies list" - one of the actor's proudest achievements, he liked to say.

Newman's colleagues were as generous in their praise of him and his work.

"There is a point where feelings go beyond words," Robert Redford said Saturday. "I have lost a real friend. My life - and this country - is better for his being in it."

George Clooney said, "He set the bar too high for the rest of us. Not just actors, but all of us."

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, with whom Newman starred in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," said Saturday, "I loved that man with all my heart. He was goodness and kindness and pure integrity. I know he loved his family, his wife, the world and mankind. He was purity of heart. Working with him was such a joy. Knowing him, being his friend, was as golden as the sunset and privilege I'll never forget. I thank God and feel so honored for that privilege. May he be in God's embrace forever."

"Paul Newman was the ultimate cool guy who men wanted to be like and women adored," said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "He was an American icon, a brilliant actor, a Renaissance man and a generous but modest philanthropist."

The chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Dan Glickman, praised Newman's career pf portraying "scamps, louts and ne'er-do-wells.

"He was a master of his craft - an artist respected and emulated by his peers and beloved by movie fans around the world."

Daniel Craig, who appeared with Newman in the 2002 film "Road To Perdition," called Newman "one of the greatest screen actors of all time and a beautiful man.

"I think an era just ended."

"Sometimes God makes perfect people," fellow "Absence of Malice" star Sally Field said, "and Paul Newman was one of them."

Remembering The Family Man

"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."

(AP Photo/Douglas Healey)(A bouquet of red roses sit on a bench across the street from Paul Newman's Westport home, Saturday Sept. 27, 2008.)

"He had amazing ideas and he took them and ran with them," said his daughter, Lissy Newman. "And luckily his ideas were all about, you know, most of his ideas were about giving back to people. And all these ideas that started, and this is important for people to know, these ideas started as tiny little ideas, he just had an idea but then he went and did something about it, and in the process created extraordinary things."

One of those tiny little ideas - marketing Newman's original oil-and-vinegar salad dressing and giving the profits to charity became Newman's Own, started in 1982 with his Westport neighbor, writer A.E. Hotchner. It began as a joke, Hotchner said, and grew into a multimillion-dollar business that expanded into selling popcorn, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company's profits are donated to charities.

By 2007, the company had donated more than $175 million, according to its Web site.

"We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person," Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman's Own Foundation, said in a statement.

In 1988, Newman founded The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.

In addition to his three daughters with Woodward, Newman had two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, and a son, Scott, from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Witte. Scott died in 1978 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. After his only son's death, Newman established the Scott Newman Foundation to finance the production of anti-drug films for children.

Family friend Mary Kay Daughters said of Newman, "He was one of the nicest celebrities but he was just plain man, wonderful and very, very down-to-earth along with his wife Joanne."

He Loved Cars - Fast And Crushed

His passion for racing, gleaned during filming of "Winning," led to his becoming a car owner and formed a partnership with Carl Haas, starting Newman/Haas Racing in 1983 and joining the CART series. Hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver, the team was an instant success, and throughout the last 26 years, the team - now known as Newman/Haas/Lanigan and part of the IndyCar Series - has won 107 races and eight series championships.

"Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and, above all, his generosity," Haas said. "Not just economic generosity, but generosity of spirit. His support of the team's drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary. His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him."

Despite his love of race cars, Newman continued to make movies and continued to pile up Oscar nominations, his looks remarkably intact, his acting becoming more subtle.

Newman, who shunned Hollywood life, was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the majesty of the act offensive, according to one friend. He also claimed that he never read reviews of his movies.

"If they're good you get a fat head and if they're bad you're depressed for three weeks," he said.

Off-screen, Newman had a taste for beer and was known for his practical jokes. He once had a Porsche installed in Robert Redford's hallway - crushed and covered with ribbons.

"I think that my sense of humor is the only thing that keeps me sane," he told Newsweek magazine in a 1994 interview.

© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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