Paul Newman, The Hustler


With his passing on Friday, Paul Newman leaves behind an inspirational, 83-year legacy of talent, love and compassion. This morning family, friends and colleagues are paying tribute to the prolific film star, race-car aficionado and passionate philanthropist.

"For me personally, his is the kind of life I would like to lead in this industry. Not only was he classy and phenomenally talented, but he led a normal life. He was also extraordinarily philanthropic and gave back such a tremendous amount. He was the ultimate role model." —Leonardo DiCaprio

"He set the bar too high for the rest of us. Not just actors, but all of us." —George Clooney

"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." —Robert Redford, who costarred with Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting

"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 though his acting in so many movies—where would we be without him?" —Martin Scorsese, who directed Newman in his Oscar-winning performance in The Color of Money

"What can one say about Paul that isn't known...He inspired generations of actors and yet it was always hard to figure out in what ways you admired him most. A brilliant artist, philanthropist and athlete. A remarkable and thoughtful man—fiercely intelligent, warm, gracious, tenacious, humble and great fun to be with. I’ve never met anyone who didn't feel lucky to know him. Paul embodied the very best of us. He was who we all wanted to be when we grew up." —John Cusack

"He was one of those guys who was an inspiration to my whole life. And he always came up with something interesting. He gave some magnificent performances." —Russell Crowe

"Paul was a very fine actor and a really good race driver. But mostly, he personified humanity—always taking care of those who were less fortunate. For me, this will be his legacy." —David Letterman

"He was my hero." —Julia Roberts

"I was blessed to have known him. The world is better because of him. Sometimes God makes perfect people and Paul Newman was one of them." —Sally Field, his costar in Absence of Malice

“Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles. But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee. Devoted husband. Loving father. Adoring grandfather. Dedicated philanthropist...Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: 'It’s been a privilege to be here.' He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves us with extraordinary inspiration to draw upon. During this difficult time, we ask for privacy for our family.” —statement from Newman's three daughters, Elinor, Melissa and Claire, whose mother is Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward

"He was one of the greatest screen actors of all time and a beautiful man. I think an era just ended." —Daniel Craig, who costarred with Newman in The Road to Perdition

"I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Newman. He was an amazing human being. Not only was he a fantastic actor, but he was one of the most generous men I have ever known. The legacy of his countless charitable activities will forever be a reminder of how dedicated he was to serving our society. As a racer, he was a true competitor and an accomplished driver himself, and I always enjoyed racing against his teams.  He was a great ambassador for our sport and he will be greatly missed by the entire motor-sports community. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends." —racing champ Helio Castroneves

"Paul Newman was my first leading man...and set the bar impossibly high for everyone after that. His generosity was real and inspirational to everyone who knew him and the world was a better place while he was here." —Victoria Principal, Newman's costar in Judge Roy Bean

"He was a master of his craft—an artist respected and emulated by his peers and beloved by movie fans around the world." —Dan Glickman, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America

“Paul Newman’s craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all." —Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman’s Own Foundation, which has donated more than $250 million to charities worldwide

"All who knew him, worked with him and who have been touched by his kindness and generosity are extremely fortunate. It was Paul's dream that the camps continue to thrive and provide laughter to children who need it most, and we will keep that dream alive." —statement from the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, which Newman founded in 1988 for children with serious medical needs

"Paul Newman was the ultimate cool guy who men wanted to be like and women adored. He was an American icon, a brilliant actor, a Renaissance man and a generous but modest philanthropist. He entertained millions in some of Hollywood's most memorable roles ever, and he brightened the lives of many more, especially seriously ill children, through his charitable works." —California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

"Paul was an American icon, philanthropist and champion for children. We will miss our dear friend, whose continued support always meant the world to us. Our prayers and thoughts are with Joanne and the Newman family and the many people who Paul impacted through his endless kindness and generosity." —U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton

"We mourn not only the passing of a screen legend, an actor of great depth and charisma who touched generations of fans, but we have lost a true Connecticut treasure in Paul Newman. We were blessed to have him as a friend and neighbor in Connecticut for nearly a half century." —Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell

(Originally posted September 27, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. PT.)

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