R.I.P. Paul Newman


It’s a sad day in Hollywood, where legendary actor and activist Paul Newman died after a long battle with cancer. A little background for the uninitiated:

Newman attained stardom in the 1950s and never lost the movie-star aura, appearing in such classic films as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Exodus,” “The Hustler,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting” and “The Verdict.”

He finally won an Oscar in 1986 — on his eighth try — for “The Color of Money,” a sequel to “The Hustler.” He later received two more Oscar nominations. Among his other awards was the Motion Picture Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

He stumped for liberal causes, including Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential candidacy, and earned a spot on Richard Nixon’s enemies list — “the highest single honor I’ve ever received,” he said.

In 1982, Newman and his friend A.E. Hotchner founded Newman’s Own, a food company that produced food ranging from pasta sauces to salad dressing to chocolate chip cookies.

“The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films,” Newman once wryly noted.

To date, the company — which donates all profits to charities such as Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang camps — has given away more than $200 million. Newman established the camp to benefit gravely ill children

Newman was eighty-three.