The film industry has paid tribute to the late Paul Newman, following his death from cancer aged 83.

Former colleagues of the Oscar-winner, as well as politicians, have expressed their grief at Newman's death, which was confirmed by his spokeswoman on Saturday.

"There is a point where feelings go beyond words," said his two-time co-star Robert Redford

"I have lost a real friend. My life – and this country – is better for his being in it."

Kevin Spacey had already described the ten-time Academy award nominee as a "great, humble giant" while Sally Field said that she was "blessed to have known him."

"The world is better because of him," she added. "Sometimes God makes perfect people and Paul Newman was one of them."

Married to Joanne Woodward for 50 years, Newman was also a championship-winning racing driver while his Newman's Own food company has donated more than $220 million (£119.6 million) to charity since its creation.

Though he was nominated for ten Oscars, six of them for best actor, Newman only took home the trophy once, winning the best actor prize for The Color of Money in 1986, in which he reprised the role of pool hustler 'Fast Eddie' Felson.

Former actor and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said 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."

Former president Bill Clinton and wife Hillary offered their condolences to Woodward, the Newman family and "the many people who Paul impacted through his endless kindness and generosity".

The Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid star stepped down as director of a production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men earlier this year, with unspecified health issues cited.

And he retired from acting in May 2007, blaming poor health.

Newman is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and older brother Arthur.

28/09/2008 09:48:16