American movie icon Paul Newman died Saturday at age 83. Besides his good looks and impressive film career, the actor-director was also a philanthropist. In 2007 alone, he donated $10 million to charities from his food product company "Newman's Own."
Screen legend, superstar—and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history—Paul Newman began his career studying at New York’s famous Actor’s Studio. After his first Broadway appearance in 1953s Picnic he was offered a movie contract by Warner Brothers.
His first film, The Silver Chalice (1954), was nearly his last; he considered his performance in this costume epic to be so bad that he took out a full-page ad in a trade paper apologizing for it to anyone who might have seen it. Fortunately, that wasn’t the end of his career. Newman went on to become one of the top box office draws of the 1960s, starring in such superior films as The Hustler, The Prize, Hud, Cool Hand Luke and buddy movies Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, both co-starring Robert Redford.
He also produced and directed many quality films, including 1968s Rachel, Rachel in which he directed his wife Joanne Woodward, a film that received an Oscar nomination for best picture. But he was best known as an actor; he was nominated nine times in the Oscar category best actor, finally taking one home in 1987 for his performance as an aging pool shark in The Color of Money, a sequel to The Hustler.
One of his final roles will have a lasting effect on younger film lovers. Two years ago, he voiced the character of Doc in Disney’s smash animation hit Cars, a fitting role for an actor who was also a passionate racecar driver.
Newman also became famous as a businessman and philanthropist. He was the founder of "Newman's Own" a successful line of food products that has earned more than $100 million. Newman donated every penny of the profits to charity. He was well known for his sense of humor, saying once that he was a little embarrassed to see his salad dressing grossing more than his movies.
Newman is survived by his wife of over fifty years, the actress Joanne Woodward. As he used to joke about adultery:"Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?"
Date created : 2008-09-27