|There are so many celebrities today that are famous for no reason. People like Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan are better known for their party antics rather than for their acting.
Another death in the film world has resulted in signifying the end of the Classic Hollywood era.
On Sept. 26, the world lost a great actor and humanitarian when Paul Newman passed away from lung cancer.
Although he had won many Oscars and was known for his successful 50-year marriage to actress Joanne Woodward, it is his devotion to charity work for which Newman will best be remembered.
During the course of the last several decades, Newman used the profits raised from his line of foods (salad dressings, lemonade, popcorn, and others) to benefit charities.
It is estimated that he has donated somewhere between $150 million and $175 million to charities, like his own Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, which aided terminally ill children.
Not only was the man extremely generous, he was humble.
He once said, “A man can only be judged by his actions, and not by his good intentions or his beliefs.”
Newman believed that making a difference was more important than making money at the box office.
He knew that his charity work was his legacy, and he noted, “I would like it if people would think that beyond Newman, there’s a spirit that takes action, a heart and a talent that doesn’t come from my blue eyes.”
Newman was born January 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio.
He was raised by his parents in a nice neighborhood, and his father was the owner of a local sporting goods store.
The actor served in the Navy as a radio operator during World War II.
He attempted to be a pilot, but his dreams of flying were put to an end when he failed the color-blind test.
He entered Kenyon College in 1946, and then went on to attend Yale Drama School.
He ultimately landed a part in the Broadway production of “Picnic,” where some New York agents discovered him.
He was married once before Woodward, and had six children (three from each wife.)
Newman developed a following as an actor in Hollywood because of his handsome good looks and piercing blue eyes.
But it was his immense talent that helped him continue a prolific career that spanned several decades.
He was nominated for nine Academy Awards during his career: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1958, “The Hustler” in 1961, “Hud” in 1963, “Cool Hand Luke” in 1967, “Absence of Malice” in 1981, “The Verdict” in 1982, “The Color of Money” in 1986, “Nobody’s Fool” in 1994 and “Road to Perdition” in 2002.
Newman was best known for his cool guy roles--no one could play a smooth talker better than the blue-eyed stunner.
Along with Frank Sinatra, he is the only actor to have received an Acting Oscar (1986), Humanitarian Award (1993) and Special Lifetime Achievement Award (1985) by the Academy.
While he remained a favorite of critics, Newman never thought much of his acting talent.
He said, “I had no natural gift to be anything—not an athlete, not an actor, not a writer, not a director, a painter of garden porches—not anything. So I’ve worked really hard, because nothing ever came easily to me.”
Newman's family held a private funeral service for him on Monday and later held a reception in Westport, Conn. at the Dressing Room restaurant, which Newman had opened a few years ago.
On Oct. 27, several actors and actresses will honor Newman’s work in a special tribute where the stars will preform a reading of ‘The World of Nick Adams,’ an adaptation by A.E. Hotchner of several Ernest Hemingway stories.
Some of those expected to attend include Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis and Billy Crystal.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Painted Turtle, one of Newman's camps for seriously ill teens.
The entertainment world and his charities have regarded his death as a sad occurrence.
But the world should be grateful for the big heart that Newman had, and all that he contributed to the causes for which he was passionate.