Sunday, September 28, 2008

Final Tributes To Paul Newman

With his passing on Friday, Paul Newman leaves behind an inspirational, 83-year legacy of talent, love and compassion. This morning family, friends and colleagues are paying tribute to the prolific film star, race-car aficionado and passionate philanthropist.

"There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life—and this country—is better for his being in it." —Robert Redford, who costarred with Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting

"I was blessed to have known him. The world is better because of him. Sometimes God makes perfect people and Paul Newman was one of them." —Sally Field, his costar in Absence of Malice

"The history of movies without Paul Newman? It's unthinkable. His presence, his beauty, his physical eloquence, the emotional complexity he could conjure up and transmit though his acting in so many movies—where would we be without him?" —Martin Scorsese, who directed Newman in his Oscar-winning performance in The Color of Money

"I've never met anyone who didn't feel lucky to know him. Paul embodied the very best of us. He was who we all wanted to be when we grew up." —John Cusack

"He was one of those guys who was an inspiration to my whole life." —Russell Crowe

"He was my hero." —Julia Roberts

"Paul was a very fine actor and a really good race driver. But mostly, he personified humanity—always taking care of those who were less fortunate. For me, this will be his legacy." —David Letterman

"He was one of the greatest screen actors of all time and a beautiful man. I think an era just ended." —Daniel Craig, who costarred with Newman in The Road to Perdition

"I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Newman. He was an amazing human being, and one of the most generous men I have ever known. He was a great ambassador for our sport and he will be greatly missed by the entire motor-sports community. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends." —racing champ Helio Castroneves

"Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all." —Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman's Own Foundation, which has donated more than $250 million to charities worldwide

"All who knew him, worked with him and who have been touched by his kindness and generosity are extremely fortunate. It was Paul's dream that the camps continue to thrive and provide laughter to children who need it most, and we will keep that dream alive." —statement from the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, which Newman founded in 1988 for children with serious medical needs

"Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles. But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee. Devoted husband. Loving father. Adoring grandfather. Dedicated philanthropist...Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: 'It's been a privilege to be here.' He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves us with extraordinary inspiration to draw upon. During this difficult time, we ask for privacy for our family." —statement from Newman's three daughters, Elinor, Melissa and Claire, whose mother is Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward

News Story Of The Day: Newman's Humor

This made me laugh.

Newman's Sly Sense Of Humor Was On A Roll

By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press Writer
Sat Sep 27, 3:07 PM ET

My managing editor at the Westport (Conn.) News in the summer of 1979 had but one goal — talking to Paul Newman — but when the time came, she was woefully unprepared.

Westport's most famous resident had called the office to suggest a story idea. She answered and was convinced it was a crank.

"Sure, you're Paul Newman," she said, angrily crashing the phone back into its cradle.
But after making a few checks, we determined it really WAS Newman.

A handyman who renovated an old barn on Newman's property into a projection room had become seriously ill. Newman wanted to throw a party to show off his work.

The local paper was welcome to send a reporter and a photographer, with one condition: We were to do our work without the guest of honor learning who we were, so the story could be a surprise when the paper was delivered next week.

After some deliberation, I was given the assignment. About to be a junior in college, I had worked hard that summer for meager wages. This was a reward.

So I drove my beat-up Dodge Dart onto the long driveway approaching Newman's home. A woman walked down to meet me. The hired help? Not quite. It was Joanne Woodward.

Newman and I stood outside of the projection room for a few minutes talking about his handyman. Newman swore a lot. I was a college student; I thought that was cool.

During the party, I mingled and did my work surreptitiously, asking the man's friends stories about him to fill out the story with personal details.

When the first person told me to go into the bathroom and check out the toilet paper, I found it a little odd. When the second person said it, I was intrigued. By the time it was mentioned a third time, I knew my next destination.

The roll of tissue by the toilet paper was emblazoned with a famous actor's face. Every sheet of it.

"Greetings from Robert Redford!" it said.

I ripped off a few sheets and stuffed them into my pocket, a summer's favorite souvenir.


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