September 29, 2008 / 4:34 AM / 11 years ago

World mourns "king of cool" Paul Newman

LOS ANGELES/LONDON (Reuters) - Images of U.S. actor Paul Newman, who died late Friday, adorned newspaper front pages around the world on Sunday, his piercing blue eyes vying for attention with the global financial crisis.

Paul Newman is shown in this undated photograph. REUTERS/Handout

Tributes came from as far away as Iran as well as from Hollywood colleagues. Elizabeth Taylor, who co-starred with Newman in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” offered emotional comments.

“I loved that man with all my heart. He was goodness and kindness and pure integrity,” she said in a statement. “Knowing him, being his friend, was as golden as the sunset and a privilege I’ll never forget.”

A Newman spokesman said memorial services for the actor, who died on Friday of cancer at age 83, would be private.

Talking to TV reporters outside the family home in Westport, Connecticut, daughter Lissy Newman encouraged people who wanted to pay tribute to simply show kindness to a friend, donate money to charity or vote in the U.S. elections.

“Just look out for each other. That’s really what he was all about,” Lissy Newman said. “He was awesome to the end, and he is an awesome guy and his spirit will be with us forever and ever and ever.”

Underlining Newman’s broad appeal was the global response. Britain’s Independent Sunday newspaper featured his photograph across the whole of page one, relegating the latest news of the country’s banking woes to the inside pages.

“Paul Newman: Death of King Cool” ran the caption headline in the Sunday Times above a portrait of the heartthrob and philanthropist, who died of cancer aged 83.

In Germany, as elsewhere, TV news channels have been showing clips from his films, and in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed Newman as a “Hollywood legend.”

“Actor, author, screenwriter, director, producer and philanthropist, he was also a great friend of France and fans of motor racing will remember his successive appearances at the Le Mans 24-hour race,” Sarkozy said in a statement.


Even conservative Muslim Iran, which would not usually concern itself with reporting on a Western film star, marked his death. Two pro-reform newspapers displayed the actor on front pages while Iran’s state media also reported his death.

The Etemad newspaper, published Newman’s picture, saying “Fading away the last classic star” and the Kargozaran daily said “End of the blue-eyed boy.”

In Italy actress Sophia Loren, who appeared in the film “Lady L” with Newman, called the news “a blow.”

“When such important personalities die, one despairs and thinks that, little by little, all the greats are disappearing,” she told the Il Messaggero daily.

Israeli actor Haim Topol, who Newman helped to set up the Hole-In-The-Wall camps for children with incurable diseases, called him a “dear human being.”

“He busied himself with the professional rather than with PR,” Topol told Israel Radio. “His main motto was, ‘If you do not exploit your success in order to improve things in the world, then you are really wasting it’.”

Paul Leonard Newman, known as “PL” to friends, appeared in more than 50 movies, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting.”

Slideshow (24 Images)

He earned nine Oscar nominations for acting and won the best actor award for 1986’s “The Color of Money.”

A director and race car driver as well as an actor, Newman was also known for his extensive philanthropy. He created Newman’s Own food products, which funneled more than $250 million in profits to thousands of charities worldwide.

Newman is survived by his wife of 50 years Joanne Woodward, five daughters, two grandsons, and his older brother, Arthur. Newman also had a son Scott, who died in 1978.

Paul Carrel in Berlin, Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Phil Stewart in Rome, Crispian Balmer in Paris, Parisa Hafezi in Tehran; Editing by Matthew Jones and Alan Elsner

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