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Tributes flow for Hollywood icon Paul Newman

Latest update : 2008-09-29

As fellow actors and fans pay tribute to the late Paul Newman, FRANCE 24's culture magazine dedicates a special edition to the blue-eyed and open-minded Hollywood legend who passed away on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

America and the world mourned Paul Newman on Sunday, with co-star and long-time friend Robert Redford leading a flood of moving tributes to the Hollywood icon and philanthropist.


Family and friends of the actor, who passed away on Friday, remembered a loving family man and passionate humanitarian who, in an oft-repeated phrase, had lived an "exemplary life."

Robert Redford, 72, who starred with Newman in beloved Hollywood classics "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting," said in a statement: "There is a point where feelings go beyond words."

"I have lost a real friend," he added. "My life -- and this country -- is better for his being in it."

Newman's daughters cited the "selfless humility and generosity" that characterized their father's life.

"Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles," the statement read.

"But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee. Devoted husband. Loving father. Adoring grandfather. Dedicated philanthropist."

Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney said simply: "He set the bar too high for the rest of us. Not just actors, but all of us."

Actress Julia Roberts, who was involved in Newman's camps for sick children, told People Magazine: "He was my hero."

Sally Field, Newman's co-star in the 1981 drama "Absence of Malice," added: "Sometimes God makes perfect people and Paul Newman was one of them."

"I was blessed to have known him. The world is better because of him.

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe said Newman had been an inspiration.

"Earlier, I read a quote from him which I find to be really amusing," Crowe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "It speaks so much to who he is. He said that regardless of his status, he was always a character actor -- he just looked like Little Red Riding Hood."

In Los Angeles flowers were placed on Newman's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame as the Motion Picture Association of America hailed his career.

The MPAA said Newman's charitable deeds -- his foundation has donated more than 100 million dollars to worthy causes -- would rival his acting legacy.

"The art of film-making and a world in great need of big hearts with bold ambitions is mourning the loss of a legend today," MPAA chairman Dan Glickman said. "He will be remembered as an artist, gentleman and humanitarian whose extraordinary career was rivaled in every respect by an exemplary life.

"Incredibly, the effect of his charitable work will rival and perhaps even exceed the legacy he leaves us all on the silver screen."

Former US president Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton also praised Newman's generosity.

"Paul was an American icon, philanthropist and champion for children," the Clintons said in a statement.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with Joanne (Newman's widow, actress Joanne Woodward) and the Newman family and the many people who Paul impacted through his endless kindness and generosity."

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger saluted Newman as "the ultimate cool guy, who men wanted to be like and women adored."

"He was an American icon, a brilliant actor, a Renaissance man and a generous but modest philanthropist," the actor-turned-politician added.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy described Newman as a "Hollywood legend" and open-hearted philanthropist, leading tributes in a country where the deceased star was wildly popular.

"World cinema has been bereaved by the death of Paul Newman, whose celebrated blue eyes will only light up screens now," Sarkozy said.

In Britain, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who worked with Newman on the 2002 film "Road to Perdition," paid tribute to a "truly great man." Directing Newman was "the highlight of my professional life," Mendes said.

"To say he was an extraordinary man would be an understatement," he added.

"He saw himself as a working actor, not a movie star, and insisted that everyone else did the same. There was no ego, no entourage, no hangers on. Only Paul, his script and his incredible spirit.

"One can say this about very few people, but he was a truly great man," Mendes said.

Daniel Craig, who played Newman's son in the same film, described Newman as "one of the greatest screen actors of all time and a beautiful man."

"I think an era just ended," he said.

Veteran Italian screen goddess Gina Lollobrigida echoed the tribute. "He was a marvellous actor and human being, serious, with an exemplary life, who has contributed enormously to world cinema," the ANSA news agency quoted her as saying. "He is a man to respect and appreciate."

Newman's partners from the Newman/Haas/Lanigan IndyCar Series Racing Team -- reflecting the actor's passion for motorsport -- mourned the loss of "great human being."

"Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and above all, his generosity," said co-owner Carl A. Haas.

"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. We will truly miss him."


Date created : 2008-09-29