WESTPORT, Conn. — A man who gave much to Westport and the world will be forever remembered on a commemorative postage stamp, which is going on sale Friday by U.S. Postal Service.
The stamp, which features Academy Award-winning actor, philanthropist and Westporter Paul Newman, is being formally introduced to the world during a ceremony in Cleveland, Newman’s hometown.
Although born in Ohio, Newman very much made Westport his home as an adult. He was a fixture at the Westport Country Playhouse and worked with Westport neighbor and buddy A. E. Hotchner to create the famed Newman’s Own brand, which gives 100 percent of its after-tax profits to charity.
The news of the stamp was welcomed by many in the Westport community, including those who knew Newman best.
“I am delighted that all of America now will be reminded of who we have lost: a great actor, a philanthropist, a movie star with a great talent,” Anne Keefe, who worked with Newman at the Westport Country Playhouse, told the Daily Voice on Thursday.
The stamp features Steve Schapiro’s 1980 photograph of Newman. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp, postal service officials said.
When the postal service announced the stamp in June , Keefe said the news and excitement spread like wildfire.
“It was pretty much known the minute it was announced,” Keefe said, adding that she heard about the release through social media and friends at at the various local foundations and groups organized by Newman.
Keefe said she plans to purchase the stamps Friday. If the local post office runs out, she plans to order them online.
But Keefe he won't use her Newman stamps on her day-to-day mail: She plans to keep the stamps of the Westport legend who she once knew.
Beyond all the Hollywood hype and fame, Keefe said of Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward, are good, generous people, who she is privileged to know.
“It is an honor to know them,” Keefe said.
Newman died in 2008 at the age of 83 in his home. Since its inception in 1982, his eponymous Newman’s Own food brand has donated its profits of more than $430 million to charity.
The stamps will be available for sale here at the USPS website . Customers may also call the postal service at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) or visit a local post office to purchase the stamps, postal officials said.
The forever stamps are 49 cents each, a block of four is $1.96, a block of 10 is $4.90 and a full sheet of is $9.80. The blue eyes, priceless.
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