Paul Newman (1925 -- 2008)
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Paul Newman discovered an early interest in acting and, after the Second World War, studied the craft at Yale and the Actors‘ Studio in New York. His contemporaries there included James Dean and Marlon Brando. Newman made his debut on Broadway in 1953 and his movie debut a year later. His career took off quickly and by the turn of the ’60s, he was a big star, highly acclaimed, with leading roles in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Hud, Cool Hand Luke and The Hustler, in which he created the role of Fast Eddie Felsen.
In 1969 he teamed up with Robert Redford for the iconic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Four years later they starred together again in another big hit, The Sting. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Newman appeared in a wide variety of films including The Towering Inferno, Slap Shot, Fort Apache The Bronx and Martin Scorsese‘s The Color of Money, for which he won an Oscar reprising the role of Fast Eddie.
In 2002 he starred alongside Tom Hanks and Daniel Craig in Road to Perdition and in 2006 he voiced Doc Hudson, a famous racing car, in Disney/Pixar‘s animated Cars, his last film. This was a fitting finale as for many years Newman had also been a professional racing driver and team leader. And determined to use his fame to support good causes, he established the highly successful Newman‘s Own sauces business, donating all the profits - hundreds of millions of dollars - to charities. Generously, he simply said that it was beholden on people with good fortune to help out those without it.
Shunning a life in Hollywood, he made his family home in Connecticut, where he died of lung cancer on 26 September 2008, aged 83. He is survived by his wife, Joanne Woodward, whom he first worked with in the theatre and married 50 years ago, and his five daughters and two grandchildren. Paul Newman is truly a movie legend, whose baby blue eyes, fierce intelligence and skilful playing of troubled losers and charming winners will be liked and admired by generations to come.