Superstar actor, director, and philanthropist Paul Leonard Newman (1925-2008) was born on this day in Cleveland, Ohio and served as a Navy radioman in World War II before turning to film-making.
He made his acting debut in 1953 and rose to fame with skill, good looks, and extraordinary blue eyes.
"Acting is a question of absorbing other people’s personalities and adding some of your own experiences," he explained. "I think make-believe rubs off. I think bravery can rub off. I think humor can rub off."
His film career is astounding. The rugged actor performed brilliantly in The Hustler (w/Jackie Gleason, 1961), Hud (1963), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (w/Elizabeth Taylor, 1959), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (w/Robert Redford, 1969), and so many more...
Newman finally won an Oscar in 1986 for Color of Money (w/Tom Cruise) as pool hustler Eddie Felson who would "never kid about money."
"Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser," said Newman, whose passion off-screen for years was race car driving.
In 1982, with a $40,000 budget, the star launched the Newman's Own line of salad dressings, then added salsa, pasta sauce, and popcorn.
Newman said: "I allow my celebrity status to be exploited in order to sell stuff from which I then in turn channel the proceeds into good causes, hence the slogan of our company: 'Shameless exploitation for the common good.'"
"Let's give it all away." he said.
All net profit goes to charity-- over $500 million as of 2017, helping millions of people around the world. "It started as a joke and got out of control," Newman said.
The actor also founded the Hole in the Wall Camps which has helped hundreds of thousands of children with life-threatening illnesses.
"I am not a professional philanthropist," Newman revealed modestly. "I am not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out."
Do good in stealth.