David Letterman, Meryl Streep, Danny DeVito, Tom Hanks, George Clooney and others gathered to remember Paul Newman and his charity Serious Fun established in 1988 to set up summer camps for children with severe illnesses. The even was held in Avery Fisher Hall.
“This is the best show in New York City tonight, ” said David Letterman, who was close to Paul Newman. According to Variety, he said, “He was so generous, he would come and visit us on the show and never turn us down, regardless of his schedule. His presence made everyone feel better. He was a tremendous man.”
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Meryl Streep recalled that Paul Newman once said that “to be a good actor, you have to be a child, ” and discuss how this had double significance, in his acting work and in his involvement with children’s causes. “He used his resources to ensure that kids with serious illnesses would not be reduced to being their diagnoses. He wanted all kids to remain kids for as long as possible, for as long as he did.”
Danny DeVito discussed how he admired Paul Newman’s good looks, but added, “But it’s not how he looked from the outside that brought us here tonight that brought us here, but from the inside.”
Natalie Cole and Carole King performed musical numbers and Paul Shaffer of Late Night with David Letterman did a medley of songs from Newman’s films.