The glimmer of Hollywood was a little dimmer over the weekend, as the town mourned the loss of one of its best. Actor Paul Newman--the man women wanted and men wanted to be--died Friday night at the age of 83 after a lengthy fight with cancer.
The bulk of Newman's brilliant career was on the big screen, taking off with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1958. He would go on to earn best actor Oscar nominations nine times (eight of those for a leading role, one supporting) and finally win the trophy in 1986 for The Color of Money.
His last role in front of the camera was in the 2005 telefilm Empire Falls. In 2006, he lent his voice to the Pixar film Cars.
Newman was the quintessential mix of talent, good looks, cool, charisma, and intensity, one of the few actors whose on- and offscreen presence commanded attention. In 1967's Cool Hand Luke, he ate hardboiled eggs and knocked the heads off parking meters. In 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid he rode horses and robbed banks. In 1961's The Hustler he used a pool cue as though it was an extension of his body. In 1977's Slap Shot he threw on some ice skates and played hockey.
But nothing matched Newman's work away from cinema. A consummate philanthropist, Newman created the Newman's Own brand of food products (beginning with salad dressings and moving to pasta sauces and other items) with all the proceeds going to charities. Since its inception, the company has donated more than $250 million to needy organizations.
"Just look out for each other. That's really what he was all about," daughter Lissy Newman told reporters. "He was awesome to the end, and he is an awesome guy and his spirit will be with us forever and ever and ever."
Paul Newman will be missed, but thanks to his selflessness and mark he left on the world, his legacy will live on.