February 24, 2009 / 11:00 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. Congress honors late actor Paul Newman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Paul Newman, who died last September of cancer, was given a posthumous honor on Tuesday as the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution recognizing the iconic actor’s life and achievements.

Actor Paul Newman is all smiles during an appearance on "The Tonight Show," hosted by Jay Leno at NBC Studios in Burbank, California in this file photo from April 8, 2005. REUTERS/Jim Ruymen REUTERS JR

Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, introduced the resolution honoring Newman on the House floor in Washington. Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from the actor’s native state of Ohio, was among the House members who spoke about Newman.

“His legendary acting, steely blue eyes, good humor and passion for helping the less fortunate made him one of the most prominent figures in American arts for 40 years,” Jordan said.

In a statement, Cohen called him “a talented artist whose craft has been a part of our American tapestry for over 50 years” and a person who “made the world a better place.”

Newman, who died at age 83, earned nine Oscar nominations and appeared in more than 50 movies including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting.”

Aside from auto racing and his commitment to quiet family life outside Hollywood’s media glare, Newman was also a noted philanthropist who in 1982 co-founded Newman’s Own, a food company that has given more than $250 million to charity.

The House resolution’s approval came two days after Newman was celebrated at the Academy Awards on Sunday, where a video clip of the actor concluded an annual tribute to entertainers who died the year before.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Nancy Waitz in Washington, D.C.: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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