He used his fame to give away his fortune. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp opened in Connecticut in 1988 to provide a summer camping experience—fishing, tie-dye, ghost stories, s’mores—for seriously ill children. By 1989, when I started working there as a counsellor, virtually everyone on staff would tell some version of the same story: Paul Newman, who had founded the camp when it became clear his little salad-dressing lark was accidentally going to earn him millions, stops by for one of his not-infrequent visits. He plops down at a table in the dining hall next to some kid with leukaemia, or HIV, or sickle cell anaemia, and starts to eat lunch. One version of the story has the kid look from the picture of Newman on the Newman’s Own lemonade carton to Newman himself, then back to the carton and back to Newman again before asking, “Are you lost?”. — Slate

Paul Newman in his own words:
“I’m basically an irresponsible person, and I wanted to find a way of life that allowed me to continue in my irresponsibility. If you’re lucky enough to do that, there’s a kind of genius in it. If you fail, of course, it’s disastrous. I’ve been lucky, but now it looks like some kind of grand design.”
“I was terrorised by the emotional requirements of being an actor. Acting is like letting your pants down; you’re exposed. “
“I was lucky to survive my first film, The Silver Chalice. God, what a dog, the worst film of the ’50s.” — BBC News

The stars speak about Newman
They don’t make ’em like Paul Newman anymore. That’s why Hollywood’s not hesitating to shower praise on the Oscar-winning actor/pioneering philanthropist/American arts legend, who died Saturday at the age of 83. Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese talk about the time they spent with Paul:

Robert Redford: “There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it.”
Martin Scorsese: “It’s a great loss, in so many ways. The history of movies without Paul Newman? It’s unthinkable. His presence, his beauty, his physical eloquence, the emotional complexity he could conjure up and transmit through his acting in so many movies — where would we be without him?”
Elizabeth Taylor: “[I] loved that man with all my heart. He was goodness and kindness and pure integrity. I know he loved his family, his wife, the world and mankind. He was purity of heart. Working with him was such a joy.” — ABC News

A neighbour’s impression. Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner lived about 10 minutes from each other in Westport, Conn. The two men, longtime friends, owned boats together. “As a matter of fact,” Mr. Hotchner said Saturday in an interview, “a couple of wretched boats.” They would go out on Long Island Sound, drinking beer and scaring the fish. “We were terrible fishermen,” he said. Then the motor would stall. “We’d get out there in the middle of the sound and then it would poop out,” Mr. Hotchner said. “The police would say, ‘Those two guys have to be towed in again.’ There’s this major movie star being towed in by the police.” — New York Times

The last interview. ABC’s Barbara Walters had one of the last extended conversations with the blue-eyed titan, catching up with Newman last fall at Limerock Racetrack in Lakeville, Conn., where the film star went on weekends to indulge his passion for auto racing. “There’s something exhilarating about it,” Newman, 82 at the time, told Walters. “I don’t plan to be winning a lot of races, but it’s fun to just get in the car, and it’s very relaxing actually.” — ABC News

Newman’s racing pals pay tribute. Late actor Paul Newman’s car racing pals have joined the list of celebrities paying tribute to the movie icon, who died on Friday. Race ace Mario Andretti has called his former boss at Newman Haas Racing, “probably the best owner you could ever have”.
Andretti, who was the first big name to drive for the Champ Car team in America, admits he had nothing but the utmost respect for the actor, who holds the record for being the oldest driver to win a professionally sanctioned race. — Contact Music 

Peter Fray

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