Meryl Streep, George Clooney & Tom Hanks Celebrate Paul Newman With SeriousFun Children’s Network
Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Tom Hanks turned out at Lincoln Center to remember Paul Newman with the children who are a part of the late actors SeriousFun Children’s Network.
Meryl Streep, George Clooney & Tom Hanks With Serious Fun
Newman, who would have been 90 on March 2, created SeriousFun, a growing community of summer camps, to foster a fun environment for children with serious illnesses. When Hanks, who worked with Newman in Road to Perdition spoke, he became visibly emotional reading a letter from an 11-year-old camper battling a rare disorder named Sammi Blansett, who became empowered by the camp.
“To be a good actor, you have to be a child,” Streep recalled Newman once telling her. She continued, “[Paul] 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. So on the occasion of his 90th birthday, we celebrate not how old Paul would have been, but how young he will stay, always, because the respect he had for the integrity of childhood captured on the faces and in the hearts of kids around the world at SeriousFun camps.”
Clooney also had kind words to share about Newman, who was best known for roles like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Cool Hand Luke. Clooney praised Newman not for what he did for actors but for all people.
“He is the best version of us. (And by us) I don’t mean actors or any celebrities, I mean humans. Paul, the world is better because of you,” Clooney said. “We owe a debt that is too great to ever be repaid, so we hope the words thank you are enough because anything else will fall short. We thank you.”
In addition to the heartfelt speeches from the actors, there were a number of performances by talented musicians, including Carole King, Renée Fleming, Natalie Cole and Aloe Blacc.