Joan among Tinseltown stars paying tribute to Paul Newman
3 OCTOBER 2008 As Hollywood comes to terms with the loss of one its best loved actors, Paul Newman, former co-stars have been paying tribute to the star who passed away at the age of 81. Among those looking back at his life this week was long-time friend Joan Collins, who met the actor in the Fifties when she first arrived in Tinseltown.
"Paul Newman was that rare creation - an actor and a gentleman," said the British actress, who shared the screen with the blue-eyed star in 1958 classic Rally Round The Flag, Boys. "He was a superb humanitarian, beginning decades ago when it was not fashionable… I will miss him very much."
Also speaking of his sense of loss was Robert Redford, Paul's Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and The Sting co-star. "There is a point where feelings go beyond words," he said. "I have lost a real friend. My life – and this country – is better for his being in it."
Paul's Road To Perdition co-star Tom Hanks praised his down to earth nature. "He considered himself just another member of the acting company, who would call his wife during breaks and confess to feeling self-conscious on the first day of shooting," said Tom. "But he was Paul Newman, and could not mask the fact he was simply - yet elegantly - an extraordinary artist and man. How lucky we all have been."
Daniel Craig, who also appeared in the film, echoed the thoughts of many when he said: "I think an era just ended. He was one of the greatest screen actors of all time and a beautiful man."
TV host Michael Parkinson spoke of the actor's passion and skill for motor racing: "The people he competed against and worked with on the circuit in America regarded him as a driver who could do a bit of acting rather than the other way around.
And Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey praised his incredible acting talent. "If anyone asks about the craft of cinema acting all you have to say is, 'Go get Cool Hand Luke, go get The Hustler, go get Hud," he said. "Cinema wouldn't have been the same if he hadn't come along. Paul Newman will live on thanks to the quality of his films."
But it was the actor's Absence Of Malice co-star Sally Field who perhaps best summed up the silver screen's favourite blue-eyed boy. "Sometimes God makes perfect people, and Paul Newman was one of them."