I was saddened to hear that the world lost a great man, on Friday. Actor, philanthropist, race car driver -- Paul Newman was quite an individual.
A story that my friend Chris Botta told me years ago comes to mind. She was running the paint shop for the Berkshire Theater Festival, where Joanne Woodward was working on production of Arsenic and Old Lace. On opening night, Paul Newman -- one of the most iconic actors in America, and Woodward's husband since 1958 -- played the role of the dead body of one of the many lonely old men done in by the spinster aunts. He and the other corpses all shared a bow at the end of the play. This apparently became a bit of a tradition, and he reprised this "role" at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, and the Westport County Playhouse which is run by Joanne Woodward. Chris told me that everyone who met him was charmed by his warmth, humor, and gracious personality.
Of course, his work with Newman's Own is well known. The natural-food company that Paul Newman and friend A. E Hotchner started as a bit of a lark, turned into a tremendous force for good, donating over two hundred fifty million dollars to charity.
What a man!