Hollywood stars Robert Redford, George Clooney and Julia Roberts have led the tributes to movie legend Paul Newman, who lost his battle with lung cancer on Friday (26Sep08).
News of the Oscar winner's death was confirmed by his spokesperson Marni Tomljanovic on Saturday (27Sep08), and the tributes have been flooding in ever since.
Redford, who starred with Newman in 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, was one of the first celebrities to comment on the 83 year old's passing.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Spy Game actor said: "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."
Clooney hailed the late Cool Hand Luke star as "the best" in the business, saying, "He set the bar too high for the rest of us", while his Ocean's Eleven co-star Roberts adds, "He was my hero, he was a total inspiration."
Newman, who died at his home in Westport, Connecticut, had reportedly been given only weeks to live after completing chemotherapy treatment at a New York hospital in August (08).
He was nominated for 10 Oscars in his five-decade-long career, winning the best actor accolade for his role opposite Tom Cruise in The Color Of Money in 1986.
He also won two Golden Globe awards, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Cannes Film Festival award and an Emmy award.
In 2007, he announced his retirement, admitting he was too old to continue his work in Hollywood.
But his legacy will be remembered for years to come, claims actor/director Kevin Spacey.
He says, "An era just ended. Paul Newman was a great humble giant. He said it was all down to luck, but the rest of us know it was his talent, wit and generous heart that made him the star he was.
"He should be an example to the acting profession because he seemed to have had his ego surgically removed."
Newman was also famed for his charity work. Following the death of his only son Scott from an accidental drug overdose in 1978, the star set up the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention.
He was also the founder of food company Newman's Own, from which Newman donated all profits and royalties to charity.
And filmmaker Sam Mendes, who directed Newman in Road To Perdition in 2002, has credited the star for his philanthropy: "Working with him on Road to Perdition was the highlight of my professional life. To say he was an extraordinary man would be an understatement. It seems to me one of the great 20th century lives, a shining example of how to use global fame for the greater good."
Newman is survived by his wife - actress Joanne Woodward - and their three daughters, Elinor, Melissa and Claire. He also has two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, from his first marriage to Jackie Witte.