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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Paul Newman Tribute

Aired September 28, 2008 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: He was Cool Hand Luke. Butch Cassidy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL NEWMAN, ACTOR: I don't have to do anything I don't want to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Rick.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: Daddy, you ain't never been wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Hud.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: I'm the best you have ever seen. I'm the best there is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And the hustler. But his most famous role was just being himself. Husband, father and champion who raised hundreds of millions to help sick children all over the world.

We salute Paul Newman tonight on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We are celebrating the life of the late Paul Newman. He was on LARRY KING LIVE on two occasions. In April of 2004, guest host Heather Mills interviewed him. And I spoke with him in 1998 about his big break, about what it takes to become a great actor who how he keeps going after decades of success in a difficult business.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Is it still as much fun as 30 years ago?

NEWMAN: I think it's probably more fun. I think it's more fun because I think I know what I'm doing. The films up until oh, six or seven or eight years ago, I can't really watch.

KING: You don't like "Cool Hand Luke"?

NEWMAN: Right. Because I really see the actor working. I see the actor working inside the character. And I see the machinery of it and the thing that you look for is that the machinery that the actor does is seamless and you don't get a sense of the effort.

KING: When you like a movie a lot, does that make you more inclined to want to promote it?

NEWMAN: Sure. You are not embarrassed by it.

KING: Have you made films you are embarrassed by?

NEWMAN: Oh, yes.

KING: Other than "The Silver Chalice," what might that be?

NEWMAN: There were a couple. I did one movie for money. In 40 years, I guess. Fortunately I can't remember the name of it. But it was an adventure film about volcanoes and everything. I don't care to talk about it.

KING: But you knew you were doing it while you were doing it and when you did it?

NEWMAN: But I made the mistake of thinking in a disaster film like that, all you have to do is get the actors off as quickly as you can and get the stuntmen on. But it didn't work that way.

KING: "Towering Inferno" kind of work, that stared you and McQueen.

NEWMAN: Yeah. Good guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE MCQUEEN, ACTOR: How much time?

NEWMAN: Three and a half.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Difficult, wasn't he?

NEWMAN: No. Not with me. The first film he ever did was "Someone Up There Likes Me." I had a little part in it.

KING: That was a great movie. Rocky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: What are you talking about? He didn't come near -- I got him. He's wide open. I am going to go out this round and bust his head open.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What's it like when you see the finished product for the first time?

NEWMAN: I die a little.

KING: You do?

NEWMAN: Yeah.

I can't ...

KING: Can't be objective?

NEWMAN: No, I run it and then I go someplace and then I come back and I run it again two or three hours later. But I can't -- have a great deal of difficulty watching myself. And I don't do it. There's films I have not seen.

KING: Is it because of shyness. Do you make yourself cringe? It can't be you don't think you're good. You have to know you are good.

NEWMAN: Something you think you could have had different or better. More perceptively, no one.

KING: What was your break, by the way? How did we get to know you?

NEWMAN: I was trying to do a part with Jimmy Dean and he got hurt. And I tried to get out of the project and they asked me to play his part and then they canceled the show and everything. So I finally wound up playing it.

KING: What was your go through the roof film?

NEWMAN: I think probably the first big film I had was "Somebody up There Likes Me."

KING: By the way, how good would Dean had been?

NEWMAN: He would have been very different. I found a boxer who lived on Wilcox Avenue in Los Angeles. He was called "The Inventions of a Young Man." A Hemmingway short story.

And it was about -- it's too long to go into, but just facial changes and appliances torn off your face while the commercials were going on. And going backwards in age from a punch-strong fighter to a young kid. It was crazed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: It's all over for you no matter how much booze you take.

But it ain't over for me. I got a wife. I got a kid. I have a home in Ocean Park when I am fighting Tony Zam (ph) for the championship of the world. I ain't going to be decisioned out of nothing, especially by you.

What's the matter with you?

ROBERT REDFORD, ACTOR: I can't swim!

NEWMAN: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to the tribute to Paul Newman. Heather Mills interviewed him on LARRY KING LIVE in 2004. In 1998 I asked Newman how he chose roles, how he sifted through the scripts that came his way.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: When you read the script, it's fascinating. You read it with I'm going to be this guy or what do I think of this story?

NEWMAN: Well, I think it's a combination of both, but in the early part of my career, I think I really, really tried to find the qualities of the character and then tried to inhabit the character. Then the last four or five years, I think I've said what qualities do I have that this character might also have. So I let the character come from me a little bit?

KING: It's you?

NEWMAN: It's closer to me than people suspect.

KING: You told me if you see two good scripts in five years, you told me this 30 years ago, it's a wonder. That's still true?

NEWMAN: It's changed to one good script a year.

KING: One.

NEWMAN: I think 30 years ago I would have said you might see five good scripts in a year. Now it's just really dry.

KING: Because?

NEWMAN: Because -- because I think everything that we read, that we see, that we watch, that we expect and experience seems to be designing itself to the lowest common denominator as a combination of journalism and television, of a generation of kids who have been brought up on television.

KING: The short attention span.

NEWMAN: Short attention span.

KING: Ever turn down a movie you regretted?

NEWMAN: Probably quite a few. Although I can't think of any right now.

KING: When it happened, without thinking of any right now and then you saw the finished product, were you angry at yourself?

NEWMAN: No.

KING: Because your reason for turning it down was always correct in your mind?

NEWMAN: I thought so, yeah.

KING: So that's not a case of - you ever have someone get up and win an Academy Award for a part you were offered?

NEWMAN: Good for them.

KING: When you watch a movie, do you watch it with Pacino did that, here's what I would have done?

NEWMAN: No, I don't do that. I'm not very charitable.

KING: You're critical of your fellow man ...

NEWMAN: Listen, it's not that I'm critical of myself. I guess I can afford to be critical of other people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: Connor has been stealing from you for years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HEATHER MILLS, CNN GUEST HOST: What was it like working with Tom Hanks?

NEWMAN: He's in a class all by himself. And very deceptive, I might add.

MILLS: In what way?

NEWMAN: Well, he's very, at least in this role, he is very understated, and it was really -- you had to be in close to see what was going on underneath that veil of monsterism.

MILLS: Is he a method actor?

NEWMAN: I don't think so. He's lucky with his instincts.

MILLS: Are you still a prankster? You were very renowned for playing some jokes on.

NEWMAN: That was my younger, more stupid...

MILLS: Was it Robert Redford that brought you and a run-down Porsche or was it the other way around...

NEWMAN: No, no. Redford gave me a Porsche for my birthday, except that it had been hit sideways or the front had hit the other -- it had hit a trunk, and there was no engine in it. And the only way it got into my driveway was some truck had to dump it off the end of a hook and with a note saying "Happy Birthday."

So I had the whole thing compacted and put in a wooden box and he had a summer place in Westwood that summer and I got the name through the real estate agent, got his alarm number and the key to the house and had four of us bring this Porsche into his vestibule and just drop it there with a boulder note. But of course, he won.

MILLS: Why?

NEWMAN: He never admitted that it was in his vestibule.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: You know how easy it would be for one of Lonegan's guys to get you?

REDFORD: All we need is a couple of days and we can get the son of a bitch and nail him.

NEWMAN: You just won't learn, will you. I come in here and teach you stuff maybe five guys in the world know. All you want to do is run down the bullet.

REDFORD: I'm asking a couple of days, that's all. I can stay clear that long.

NEWMAN: Glad to meet you, kid. You are a real horse's ass.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: It's now scripture and verse like you wrote it yourself so I just naturally had to go bad in the face of so much good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hud, how'd a man like you come to be a son to me?

NEWMAN: That's easy, I wasn't no bundle left on your step (inaudible). That's how you got stuck with me for a son whether you like it or not.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: There is always pain. You lost a son, you formed a foundation. Scott Newman ...

NEWMAN: Scott Newman Center, yeah.

KING: What does it do?

NEWMAN: Well, it was originally designed to try to encourage motion picture companies not to glamorize and glorify drug use. It's evolved and has gone through several phases. Now it operates a camp for families. The parents of which have kicked a drug habit.

You know, there is not a hell of lot of congratulation for that kind of transformation. And mothers who have lost their children and got them back and never got patted on the back and say that was a hell of a job you did. That's what we try to do.

KING: Licking anything.

NEWMAN: Licking anything. Getting your family back together and come on up here and raise a little hell and have some fun with your kids.

KING: How old was Scott?

NEWMAN: Twenty-nine.

KING: Isn't that the worst of all things in a life time to be alive when and your child goes? Any who is a parent cannot fathom. How do you brace back from that?

NEWMAN: Well, I'm not sure that you do. Everything gets different, but it doesn't get better.

KING: What do you make of the incredible obsession with the tabloid in us. Why are we so interested in your private life? I mean, the collective we because it's none of my business, but why do you think the society is?

NEWMAN: Well, what can I say? I'm very - I'm saddened by it.

KING: Have you been in your life tabloid victimized?

NEWMAN: Yeah, there has been some things - hey, nobody is perfect and I'm certainly ...

KING: Imperfect.

NEWMAN: Imperfect. But there has been a lot of stuff out there that is so inaccurate that it's almost laughable.

KING: When you do read something that is an absolute not happened.

NEWMAN: An absolute not happened.

KING: What do you di with that?

NEWMAN: You don't pay any attention to it. If you did, you'd drive yourself crazy. It's funny. You could say do you beat your wife? I say no, I don't beat my wife. The headline is, "Newman denies beating wife." There is no way you can ...

KING: It's a no win, man.

NEWMAN: It's a no win. So I don't know.

KING: Speaking of that, for our viewers, what's the secret of a long- lasting marriage? In your business, yet. NEWMAN: Well, I'm uncomfortable talking about that.

KING: OK. It just is most people - how long have you been married?

NEWMAN: It turns out that it is probably some combination of lust and respect and patience. And determination.

KING: And lust stays?

NEWMAN: Let's hope.

KING: Is she a good partner work-wise? In other words, does she give you good insight into what do you?

NEWMAN: The best and the marvelous thing is she has really started directing now. In the theater. And it's some really stunning work.

MILLS: She once was quoted to say she never felt like she was the best mother or the best actress because she felt torn. Is that normal?

NEWMAN: I would think so. I think probably harder on a mother. I don't know. Why do I say that?

MILLS: Society expects ...

NEWMAN: I would do things a lot differently now than I did when I was a father the first time.

MILLS: Don't you think then you are the best person to give advice to people?

NEWMAN: I'm not in the advice business.

MILLS: When you first saw Joanne, was it love at first sight or did you fall in love on picnic?

NEWMAN: I'm uncomfortable talking about stuff like that.

MILLS: OK. But you definitely fell in love, you've married 46 years. You can not give us any tips on that?

NEWMAN: No, I have no advice to give on that either.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came out here because I like you. I wanted the chance to tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NEWMAN: Shut up! I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear any of it. What the hell are you doing here? Is that what you want? They found her naked in a tub. She didn't even want to make a mess. No water, just naked in the tub. Are you interested in how she felt?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

NEWMAN: Pick up a newspaper for chrissake. And there it is for everyone to see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're honoring the life of Paul, revisiting a couple of appearances he made on LARRY KING LIVE. In a moment, Heather Mills, the guest host asked Paul about his love of racing. But first Paul and I spoke about his favorite film and what he had to say was a bit surprising.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Your personal best, you have a personal film that you would say if the gods said, Mr. Newman, what do you wish to show us? I will show you this.

NEWMAN: Well, I try to explain to people that there's no -- some films you started off, it's all there. It's just a matter of getting up every morning and getting jazzy and doing and there are some films you have to do and you have to pull them up by the boot strap. And they're not as good as the first film but the work you have done on it is more delicate, more defined, tougher, harder to discover.

KING: What finished product?

NEWMAN: I can't do it. You've got (inaudible).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: You keep forgetting the conditions on which I agree to stay on living with you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not living with you. We occupy the same cage, that's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: You have 77 children and someone says who was your favorite? It would be pretty hard to answer the question even if you knew the answer.

That's one of the reasons I like racing. Is because the clarity of the winner is pretty -- it's down to a thousandth of a second, to say that one performance is better than another, it's a very subjective thing.

MILLS: Surely when you win you think that was a better race than when you lost. NEWMAN: That's not subjective. That's very objective.

And if you look at any given rile and say what kind of help did you get and what was the script like and who were your acting partners? How much did you have to expend? What did you have to investigate and how much did you have to expose? All of those factors are different in every case. And it also varies with the other people you were supposedly competing with and how could they do it. What help did they get? How was the script? Who did they have to help them in the cast? So when you try to make -- to be considered one of the group is quite an honor. But then to pick out one and say that was the best performance, I think you also ought to ask why. And that of course is the question that is never asked.

MILLS: Now your first race, was it 1972 in a Lotus Elan? Were you inspired to race from the film "Winning"? Is that how you got involved in it or was that just coincidental?

NEWMAN: John and I did a film about three years before that about racecar driving. But my schedule was so packed and we never really could take the time to get a license. I started in 1972. And I've had some success with it.

MILLS: Just a little bit of it. Aren't you in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for being the oldest guy, 70, to win a race?

NEWMAN: To get under the race car and lift it up with your feet though. Someone said -- I don't know whether it's still active, but to win a professionally-sanctioned race, yeah.

MILLS: That was the case.

And how did you get involved with Harz (ph)? How did that collaboration, Carl Harz (ph), how did that come together?

NEWMAN: Before I was involved with the open-wheeled road racing, I had a Can-Am team which was another series. And it expired. And Carl Harz (ph) called me and we had not been friendly during my days of the Can-Am because he provided my cars for the Can-Am series late and over weight, but that was another discussion. But he said how would you like to start the championship car? I said well - he said, what if Mario Andretti was the driver? I said where would you like to meet and when?

MILLS: You talked about retirement and retiring from things, but not being able to. Why is that? What would you do with your time?

NEWMAN: I'm closer to retirement now than I have ever been. I don't know. Retiring from one facet of life and starting another one.

MILLS: Any ideas?

NEWMAN: I have got a lot of stuff out there waiting for me.

MILLS: So you will never really be retired. Because everyone that said they are retired, they kind of sort of seize up. NEWMAN: You can't retire from life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: I'm shooting pool, Fats. When I miss, you can shoot. Five ball.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MILLS: Your character, in Hud, I didn't like him. You were great acting, but why did people fall in love with that character? He was a mean guy.

NEWMAN: Because he had all the external graces.

MILLS: External graces?

NEWMAN: Yeah, all the external graces. He was thin and muscular and drank well. And was great with the ladies. He had a sense of humor and a sense of boldness. He was simply rotten at the core.

MILLS: He wasn't my cup of tea. I liked John Joseph Vincent in "Fort Apache the Bronx." I loved that character. That was my kind of guy. Especially the way he delivered babies and saved people's lives that were jumping off buildings. It was a scene where you were doing with all the crazy faces to save this guy. Hurting somebody on the street. That was one of my favorite films.

NEWMAN: Thank you.

MILLS: Yeah, very good.

Now, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" must have been a favorite. You took the Hole in the Wall Gang camp and named it from "Butch Cassidy" and Robert Redford took the Sundance Festival. Was that the first time you united as a working partnership with Robert?

NEWMAN: The first time we had a film together, yes.

MILLS: What did you think of him?

NEWMAN: He was a kick in the rear. Funny. A little distant at some times. Sometimes it's hard to fathom. A great sense of the environment and the sacredness of it. And has his passions too.

MILLS: He said you had the attention span of a bolt of lightning. How do you feel about that?

NEWMAN: Well, I will cuff him heavily about the heads and shoulders the next time I see him. MILLS: In the film "The Hustler", were you really a great pool player, did you practice or was that just great editing?

NEWMAN: I got to be a pretty good pool player. Not a great pool player.

MILLS: Better than Jackie Gleason?

NEWMAN: Jackie Gleason and I played four games in the course of the film. I beat him three out of four. The three games were for $1 and the fourth game was for $200. So he was looking right down my ...

MILLS: He hustled you?

NEWMAN: Oh yes. He hustled me. He was looking right down my throat the whole time and the thing that was marvelous, he had such patience. With everybody from the crew was watching the games going on and he had the patience to lose the first three to sucker me into the last one.

MILLS: Didn't you learn that from the script, though?

NEWMAN: A script is a script and real is real life.

After the film is over, everybody, if you are going to a bar to have a beer with a bunch of them, they had a pool table and you always get some guy saying you have to play a game of pool with me. And I say I really don't play. They say come on. Come on, we'll play a little game. You say I'm really sorry. We will play for something. What would you like to play for? How about your house.

MILLS: And then they back right off.

NEWMAN: That's what I did. I never had to play again.

MILLS: Peter Ustinov said that your true destiny lies behind the camera. Do you feel that you were more comfortable as a director than an actor?

NEWMAN: I was fairly comfortable with actors, I don't know that I was very comfortable with the camera, but I think one of the best movie experiences I had working with Joanne on "Rachel, Rachel." It's a good film.

MILLS: And the generous guy that you are really showed when there was a close (ph) called play and play (ph) where they set up a film and if they didn't find the right costar actress to play with you, you would get paid and turned down a lot of money and said if I don't make the film I don't want you to pay me.

But when you came to make "Rachel, Rachel" you found it very hard to get funding. Didn't you feel stingy there? You let them off all this money and you only needed $300,000 to make "Rachel, Rachel"?

NEWMAN: Actually it was $700,000.

MILLS: In the end.

NEWMAN: Joanne and I both worked for nothing, I think. For scale. It was worth it and ultimately it was rewarding.

MILLS: She actually said no disrespect to all the other directors, you were her favorite director to work with.

NEWMAN: What else could she say? She has to live in the house.

MILLS: She's a pretty straight talking lady by the sounds of it.

Were you very proud of her when she won the Oscar for "The Three Faces of Eve"?

NEWMAN: Yeah. That was very early on. That was her second film.

MILLS: Yeah. Now, you waited a long time to get your Oscar. Did you not resent that? Every time you were up for an Oscar and it doesn't come through? Isn't that a pain in the butt?

NEWMAN: Listen, I also burned my tuxedo when I was 70.

MILLS: Why did you do that?

NEWMAN: Because I think I had -- I had worn it enough for all ordinary purposes. I don't collect honors, not out of arrogance anymore, but simply because I've been honored enough it for all ordinary purposes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: What? I made money!

NEWMAN: You lost money. What the hell did you do? Do I not speak your native language? What is the matter?

CRUISE: You give me the stick, man and then you tell me to lay low. The thing I lay it down, it jumps up at me, man.

NEWMAN: You don't deserve the stick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're still blaming me for Skipper's death.

NEWMAN: Don't you know that I could kill you with this crutch?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good Lord, man, do you think I care?

NEWMAN: Skipper and I had a friendship. Why won't you let it alone? I don't want to hear it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has to be told. And you never let me tell it. I love you and that's worth fighting for. Skipper was no good. Maybe I'm no good either. Nobody is good. But Brit (ph), Skipper is dead and I'm alive.

NEWMAN: Maggie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The cat is alive. I'm alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: We cannot talk to this genius that is Mr. Newman. Even though he doesn't like that word. Without of course mentioning the food products. Which we have Newman's Own Bavarian pretzels. Newman's Industrial Strength Venetian Spaghetti Sauce and Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing. I had 10 people tell me that's the best and Fig Newmans.

OK, what is this about?

NEWMAN: Well, we started this food business in 1982. And it went through a series of escalations and finally said -- it started off as a joke really and became a challenge and then it went from a challenge to a real challenge. And then someone said hey, if you are going to make this thing work, you have to put your face on the label. I said are you crazy?

KING: Not me!

NEWMAN: At any rate, all the profits go to charity.

KING: What charity? Any charity?

NEWMAN: I think we have given to thousands, literally thousands.

KING: How much money?

NEWMAN: Close to $90 million.

KING: You don't make a penny on this product?

NEWMAN: I don't make a nickel.

KING: Did you have anything to do with formulating the concept of making the ...

NEWMAN: You bet you.

KING: You did. Hands on.

NEWMAN: As a matter of fact the way the whole thing got started was we used to take empty wine bottles and fill it up when we went Christmas caroling, I would drop off a wine bottle with my salad dressing in it. And about the 15th of January, there were angry neighbors pounding on the door asking for refills. I said hey, I'm not in the salad dressing business. So naturally we decided to start it for that reason.

MILLS: Newman's own. When you started it of, was that what set up the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps? Did you use the money to set them up and does it solely support it or did you find funding elsewhere?

NEWMAN: Well, we started the food company as a joke back in 1982. It started making profits in the first year. And also the thing that I like about the business is it doesn't take itself very seriously. I mean, that's half the delight of it. And the royalties that I get from the business and the profits after charity, I can give away and allow that to go to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps.

There is a misconception that these camps somehow are ...

MILLS: Solely funded.

NEWMAN: ... solely funded by me which I couldn't do, even if I was -- we get -- I help to get a lot of the camps started. If they have sustainability problems I help them with some things like that. The new camps that are going up overseas and all over the world now, if you can believe it, we give seed money to and send people over to do due diligence and help them create acceptable boards and the association tries to be helpful with medical practices that we've been very successful with. Programs that we've been successful with. Programs that we haven't been successful with.

MILLS: If Newman's Own aren't funding it, they give the seed money, how do they get funding? Through corporate societies and ...

NEWMAN: Through corporate donors. Foundations, individuals. It comes from all over, all different kinds of sources.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: If we are to have faith and justice we need only to believe in ourselves. And act with justice. I believe there is justice in our hearts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWMAN: Buy you were asking me to give me the key to his room so you can walk in, put a gun to his head, pull the trigger and I can't do that.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: He murdered (inaudible).

NEWMAN: The only murderers in this room, Michael. Open your eyes. This is the life we chose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee, none of us will see heaven. HANKS: Michael could.

NEWMAN: Then do everything that you can to see that that happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MILLS: How come you said you're such a philanthropist.

NEWMAN: I think of all things I acknowledge luck. If you think of the torrent of sperm out there and ours was lucky to fall where it did. That's for starters. I can't -- you can't pick your parents but you may be lucky enough to have parents that give you the gift of induction and deduction and certain intelligence, certain ways of look. It's all so -- I've been very lucky and I try to acknowledge that by giving back something to those to whom luck has been brutal.

MILLS: Is that what initiated you to start the Hole in the Wall Camps?

NEWMAN: Yeah. You know, kids, especially with life-threatening diseases don't have a lifetime to correct it. And actually, what they're found finding out is we have a slogan now, laughter is the best medicine.

MILLS: Have you had any children that came to the Hole in the Wall Camp that have recovered unexpectedly that you knew of?

NEWMAN: Well, when we started the camp in 1988, 70 percent of the leukemia patients, children with childhood leukemia died, now it's the other way around. Seventy percent survive. So that's good news. We, I think, had the first camp that allowed children with HIV.

MILLS: And you've got some in Europe as well haven't you? You've got one in Ireland? One in France?

NEWMAN: One in Ireland and one in the south of England and one in France. We have seven small little safari camps in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.

MILLS: Do you ever step back and really look at your achievements or do you just keep going each day?

NEWMAN: I had an idea that other people have expounded on, I've expanded so I can take some credit for it but really, I think one of the delights in my life is to go to these camps and see the staff members who care for people who are less fortunate then than they are and they are a bunch of young people. When we opened our first camp in 1988, and we've had a lot of help from a lot of very charitable philanthropic people and sat out there on the road waiting for the massive assault from children to fill the place, and it was less than half full.

MILLS: Why was that?

NEWMAN: Because I thought we'd be born with credentials.

MILLS: It's good that you weren't?

NEWMAN: As it turned out, it was a blessing. If we had been full we probably would have made a lot more mistakes so at least we had a kind of shake-down crew. But I can't tell you what it was like to feel you put this whole thing together and somehow you didn't realize that the parents wouldn't trust you until he really had confirmation that you knew what you were doing and that you had, you know, a validity and -- we had a father who tells the story that he picked up his kid at the end of the session and was driving out the door and pulled out on the highway and his kid said, you know, I'm really glad that I have cancer so I can come here every year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: If anyone made a difference, it was Paul Newman. To that little boy. To many thousands of children all over the world and to the rest of us who loved all those great movies he left us. Thanks, Paul. Somebody up there likes you!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was smiling. That's right. You know, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right until the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it they could tell right then they were not going to beat them. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)