Paul Newman, the Oscar-winning superstar who personified "cool" as the anti-hero of such films as Hud, Cool Hand Luke and The Color of Money - followed by a second act as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario - has died, aged 83.
Newman died Friday at his farmhouse near Westport following a long battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said.
He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
In Israel and among Jews worldwide, he will always be remembered as Ari Ben Canaan, the Zionist rebel of "Exodus" who seizes a cargo ship and smuggles 600 Holocaust survivors to Palestine despite British opposition.
Otto Preminger, who directed the 1960 epic on location in Cyprus and Israel, said he chose Newman because he wanted an actor of Jewish origin who didn't look Jewish.
The actor was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 26, 1925 to an affluent family. His Jewish father Arthur owned the city's largest sporting goods store, which his Catholic mother Theresa, born in Slovakia, helped run.
In a 1980 interview with TIME magazine, Newman said he identified himself as Jewish, stating, "it's more of a challenge."
As an actor, Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, winning one Oscar and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."
With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers.
Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers.
As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO cable television drama Empire Falls, and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 car in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, Cars.
But in May 2007, he told ABC television's Good Morning America he had given up acting, though he intended to remain active in charity projects. "I'm not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to," he said. "You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that's pretty much a closed book for me."
In May this year, Newman dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men" at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse, citing unspecified health issues. The following month, a friend disclosed that he was being treated for cancer and Martha Stewart, also a friend, posted photos on her website of Newman looking gaunt at a charity luncheon.
But true to his fiercely private nature, Newman remained cagey about his condition, reacting to reports that he had lung cancer with a statement saying only that he was doing nicely.
Newman, who shunned Hollywood life, was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the act offensive, according to one friend. He also claimed that he never read reviews of his movies.
"If they're good you get a fat head and if they're bad you're depressed for three weeks," he said.