I was surprised he and Joanne Woodward are still close.
Why are you surprised about that, edgar?
As far as I know, there have never been rumours that either of them were involved with anyone else, they have never separated, and they seem to have had a long and happy marriage, living quietly out of the Hollywood spotlight in Westport, Connecticut. When asked about infidelity, he has quipped, "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?"
Paul and Joanne have three daughters, in addition to the two daughters Paul has by his first marriage. Paul also had a son, by his first marriage, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 1978. Newman started the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention in memory of his son.
He has a well earned reputation for philanthropy. In 1994 he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his charitable work. His food company, Newman's Own, donates all profits and royalties to charity, and, as of May 2007, these donations exceeded $220 million. In June, 2007, he donated $10 million to Kenyon College, his alma mater, for establishment of a scholarship fund.
There is no question that he is one of the all-time greatest film actors. He consistently turned in wonderful and memorable performances in movie after movie (I think at least 60 of them), and he proved to be quite a good director too.
Newman announced that he would entirely retire from acting on May 25, 2007. He stated that he doesn't feel he can continue acting on the level that he would want to. "You start to lose your memory, you start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention. So I think that's pretty much a closed book for me."
I was very saddened when I first read of his illness several months ago. He has always been one of my favorite actors, and human beings.
An admirable man, in all respects. He has good reason to feel proud of the legacy he will leave behind him in terms of the work he has done, both on and off screen, and the positive impact he has had on so many through his charity.
Whenever the end may come for him, I hope it will be peaceful and that he will feel he leaves behind a life well-lived.