Paul Newman's Other Role: Helping Kids

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In this 1994 file photo originally released by Paramount Pictures, actor Paul Newman appears in character for the film ''Nobody's Fool.''
AP Photo/Paramount Pictures

It's hard to pick a defining Paul Newman screen roll: hero, outlaw, non-conformist, ne'er-do-well. But some of his greatest were characters who stood up for the underdog, like in "The Verdict."

"If we are to have faith in justice, we have only to believe in ourselves, and act with justice," Newman's character said.

And Newman lived those words, CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker said. He took a little salad-dressing hobby, turned it into a multi-million dollar business, and funneled all of the profits - more than a quarter of a billion dollars so far - into charities, especially his 11 camps for children with life-threatening illnesses.

"He also said, 'when you first do something for these kids, when you go to these camps, when you help out, you think you're doing something for them. Then you walk away and realize just how much they've done for you," said Music Producer Lou Adler.

Adler and his wife, Page, co-founded a camp with Newman in Los Angeles, the Painted Turtle, where thousands of seriously ill kids have a normal camp experience - completely free of charge.

"He wasn't famous at the camps," said Page Adler. "He was the guy who liked to go fishing. And he loved to grab a couple of kids and spend hours with them, whether they caught a fish or not. He really appreciated the normalcy in giving these kids normalcy ... and he got to be normal, too."

"I've been lucky," Newman said. "There are a lot of people who are not very lucky. People who are very lucky should hold out a helping hand to those less fortunate than they are."

Newman thought he was lucky. It seems those he touched were the lucky ones.