Paul Newman, legendary actor, avid philanthropist and successful businessman, died Friday from cancer at age 83, said his publicist Jeff Sanderson.

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards ranging from 1959 (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) to 2003 (“Road to Perdition”), Newman has made a lasting mark on Hollywood and will not soon be forgotten. Newman won his only Oscar in 1987 for his leading role in “The Color of Money.”

In addition to his acting career, Newman is well known for his race car career and food company. In 1982, Newman became co-owner of Newman-Haas racing. He also founded the food company, Newman’s Own, in which all of its proceeds go towards charity. His philanthropic tendencies did not stop there, as he also started The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, an organization for terminally-ill children.

Newman cited health issues earlier this year when he turned down the opportunity to direct a production of “Of Mice and Men” in the fall.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in January of 1925 to Arthur and Theresa Newman, Newman’s interest in acting was a derivative of his mother’s and uncle’s interest in the creative arts.

It was at age 25, after Newman moved his then-wife Jackie and son Scott to Conn. to pursue a career in acting at the Yale University School of Drama. There, while doing a play, Newman was spotted by two agents who invited him to come to New York City as a professional actor.

In New York, Newman has several guest appearances in various TV shows before landing his big break in 1953 as an understudy to the lead role in the Broadway play, “Picnic.” It was in this play that he met his now-wife Joanne Woodward, but he was still married to Jackie, who had just given birth to their second child, Susan.

During this time Newman was also accepted into the New York Actor’s Studio, regardless of the fact that he didn’t technically audition.

In 1954, landed his first film role in “The Silver Chalice,” a role he mocked throughout his life. His next role in 1956’s “Somebody Up There Likes Me” landed him critical acclaim, and from there on out, his film career is history. It seems like somebody up there really did like him, because he has won the hearts of millions with his iconic blue eyes and his portrayal of the American rascal.

Newman is survived by his wife, Joanne, and six children. Burial plans are unknown.

About The Author

Terri Schwartz was a Blast Contributing Editor from 2008-2009.

Leave a Reply