Hollywood loses one of its foundations in Paul Newman

By: Steve Mathie
Staff Writer

The last time that we got to see Paul Newman in a major Hollywood movie was six years ago, and the first time we saw the blue eyes that so many young woman fell in love with was 54 years ago as Basil in The Silver Chalice, a film that grossed $4.5 million dollars. Newman gave us years of magical theatrical performances. This week, he lost his ongoing battle with cancer at the age of 83.

Paul Newman was much more than a guy who filmed more than 65 movies over the course of his acting career. Newman was a dedicated philanthropist that donated hundreds of millions to charities, and was particular soft when it came to giving back to causes that involved children.

Newman once said in an interview, “what could be better than to hold your hand out to people less fortunate than you?”

He had a warm heart and truly understood the meaning of giving back to the community. Newman was born in Cleveland in 1925, and like almost every young American that was born into the “Greatest Generation” – he served in World War II; as a US Navy radioman aboard a bomber aircraft in the Pacific Theatre.

After serving in the Navy, Newman attended the Yale School of Drama. He would even eventually get his foot in the door as a member of the Actors Studio alongside Marlon Brando and James Dean. It was here than Newman began his multi-faceted and award filled acting career, including an Oscar for Best Actor in 1986’s The Color of Money. Other memorable characters that he embodied were Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid(1969), and Luke in Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Away from the screen Newman was an avid auto racing fan and competitor, and started his line of food products in the early 80s called “Newman’s Own”. His hobbies were as diverse as the characters he portrayed on the screen.

Joanne Woodward would be Newman’s second wife, whom he acted alongside and directed throughout the course of their 50 years together. Joanne survives her husband and co-worker along with his five daughters, two grandchildren, and his brother.

Actor, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist – Paul Newman was each of them, but the most important discovery one can make when reviewing his career in the film industry and beyond, is that he touched so many people as a warm-hearted humanitarian and mentor. His passing is heavy on everyone whom he touched, but the celebration of his life makes for the appreciation of the film industry and how it thrives through the years because of individuals like Newman.

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