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Friday 23 August 2019

Hollywood stars out for charity bash celebrating Paul Newman's legacy

Danny DeVito (left) and Jeremy Irons arrive at the charity event
Danny DeVito (left) and Jeremy Irons arrive at the charity event
Renee Zellweger arrives at the charity event at the Roundhouse in London

Hollywood actors Renee Zellweger and Danny DeVito have turned out at a star-studded charity bash celebrating the legacy of Paul Newman.

The Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid star founded the SeriousFun Children's Network in 1988 and the UK gala at the Roundhouse in London was honouring Newman and raising money for the charity.

Zellweger, who is in the capital filming the third Bridget Jones film, posed for photographers but did not stop to talk to reporters.

Speaking on the blue carpet at the gala, DeVito told the Press Association the charity is "amazing", adding: "Once you get involved with this, you can't stop."

The film star added: "The big thing is that they get to act like kids for a chunk of time of the year."

He said the children spend a lot of time as patients.

DeVito said the charity needs support and called on people to "give it some dough". He said it "means so much" to the children, describing it as "invaluable".

DeVito also spoke about the types of films he likes, saying: "I usually go see really dark scary movies. That's my genre of choice.

"I like things like, you know, bloody, scary, movies that keep you up at night."

SeriousFun is a global community of 30 camps and programs serving children living with serious illnesses and their families, and is free of charge.

It has helped more than 600,000 children and their family members from more than 50 countries.

Joining Zellweger and DeVito at the glitzy event were veteran actor Jeremy Irons, and singers Corinne Bailey Rae and David Gray.

Irons said he is a "great admirer" of the charity, adding that Newman had "the element of the child" in him.

"He loved life. And I think he wanted to give kids in this situation the opportunity to have a bit of life in the short time they had left or while they were going through this difficult time," he said.

Irons said Newman would have been "thrilled" about the event.

The London gala is the final of three galas the organisation hosted this year to honour Newman's legacy during what would have been his 90th year.

Newman's Own Foundation has been providing support to camps and programmes around the world since the charity began.

Funds raised at the galas will also benefit the UK camp which is called Over The Wall.

Facilities at SeriousFun camps are designed to meet the medical needs of campers, ensuring they can all participate in activities, such as soaring down a zip line, exploring ropes courses, cultivating creativity with arts and crafts and bonding over music.

Clea Newman, director of special initiatives for SeriousFun and Newman's youngest daughter, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be returning to London for our third annual SeriousFun Gala during what would have been my father's 90th year.

"Money raised last year helped provide hundreds of children living with serious illnesses with the opportunity to reclaim their childhoods, make new friends and discover the best in themselves - through the safe and supportive environment of a SeriousFun camp."

Newman, known for his starring role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, died in 2008 aged 83.

He was nominated for an Oscar 10 times, winning the best actor trophy in 1987 for The Colour Of Money.

In May 2007, Newman said he was giving up acting because he could no longer perform to the best of his ability.

He appeared in some 60 movies, working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall and Tom Hanks.

In addition to his Academy Award for best actor, he was given an honorary Oscar in 1986 and won a third Oscar in 1994, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.

PA Media

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