Saturday, September 27, 2008

Well Done, That Man: Goodbye To Paul Newman

I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out.
- Paul Newman

Paul Newman, respected actor, philanthropist and gentleman, has passed. He will be remembered mostly for his film roles, but he played many admirable roles in his life, including that of aware, astute and politically active man. I would even call him a feminist. I say this for a number of reasons, among them the fact that he loved strong, creative women like his wife and partner Joanne Woodward and because he raised a smart, busy savvy daughter named Nell. Nell, a biologist and environmentalist, is the creator of Newman's Own Organics, and she will continue to oversee the Newman's Own charity foundation.

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.
- Paul Newman

Liz Braun, writng for the London Free Press notes that:

The legendary screen actor was not the only movie star who took himself lightly, or who was happily married, or who had an interest in car racing, but he was certainly the only actor who could say he’d contributed up to $250 million to various good causes in his lifetime.....

Newman has given money to various children’s charities and health centres, to a group that helps the homeless become self-reliant, to refugee groups, to humane societies and animal hospitals and to all manner of educational outlets. He co-sponsors the PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award, a $25,000 reward designed to recognize those who protect the U,S. First Amendment as it applies to the written word. His most famous charity, of course, is the Hole In The Wall Gang summer camps, which Newman established in 1988. These camps let sick children take part in all the usual camp activities -- boating, overnight trips, arts and crafts, horseback riding, performing arts, fishing, archery, etc. -- while they get free, 24-hour medical care. It’s all free for the children, and the camps have helped kids from all over Canada and the U.S. and 40 other countries.

He will be missed.


Photo: Photo of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward soon after their marriage in 1958, taken from Men and Their Dogs

Related Articles:

Paul Newman On My Mind

Why We All Love Paul Newman

Paul Newman - A Liberal Class Act

Quotes - Paul Newman


Anonymous said...

The world is a better place for all the work he did. He will be missed.

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

so sad, a lovely man

Anonymous said...

it's hard not to admire Paul Newman for putting his money to work in such productive ways, such as his Newman's Own line--high quality stuff and the proceeds go to good causes... very smart.