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Legendary Paul Newman Passes Away

     By Julian Spivey

 

     One of Hollywood’s greatest acting legends Paul Newman passed away at age 83 on Friday.

Newman succumbed to a long battle with lung cancer as he died at his farmhouse near Westport, Conn, according to the Associated Press.

     Newman was an Academy Award best actor winning actor for his portrayl of “Fast” Eddie Felson in Martin Scorsese’s 1986 film “The Color of Money.” Newman reprised his role from the 1961 film “The Hustler” were he played a brash, young pool star trying to defeat the famous Minnesota Fats, played by Jackie Gleason.

     Newman began his film acting career in 1954 with the role of Basil in Victor Saville’s “The Silver Chalice.”

     Throughout his five plus decade acting career he portrayed roles some of cinema’s greatest films like: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958), “Hud” (1963), “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Sting” (1973) and “Absence of Malice” (1981).

     Newman’s finest role was likely that of famed western outlaw Butch Cassidy in George Roy Hill’s 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Newman teamed with good friend Robert Redford who played The Sundance Kid in what could arguably be the greatest “buddy film” in cinematic history. Newman teamed with Redford once again in Hill’s “The Sting,” which garnered the Academy Award for best picture in 1974.  

     Newman was nominated for nine Academy Award acting awards: eight for best actor and one for supporting actor.

     Newman worked for many of cinema’s best directors. He played Professor Michael Armstrong in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Torn Curtain” (1964) and Judge Roy Bean in John Huston’s “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” (1972).

Newman was also successful as a film director and screenwriter. Newman directed five films including “Rachel, Rachel” (1968), for which his actress-wife Joanne Woodward was nominated for a best actress Academy Award for. Newman wrote, directed and starred in the 1984 film “Harry & Son.”

Newman and Woodward remained married until Newman’s death. Their marriage lasted over fifty years.

     Away from the movie screen Newman was successful as a racecar driver and as a philanthropist.

     Newman began professional auto racing in 1972. Among his many accolades as a racer include a second place finish in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans race. At age 70, Newman became the oldest person to be a part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race when his team won the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona race. Newman’s last racing appearance was in the 2005 24 Hours of Daytona race.

     In 1982, along with writer A.E. Hotchner, Newman created the Newman’s Own line of food products. Newman’s Own originated with salad dressing and has since included pasta sauce, lemonade, wine, salsa and popcorn. All of the proceeds from Newman’s Own products go to charity.

Newman also created the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with serious illnesses. The camp was named after the famed “hole in the wall gang” from “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.”