Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Sunday, 28 September 2008 16:28 UK

A Memory of Paul Newman

BBC News website readers have been sending in their memories of film legend Paul Newman, who died recently.

One of them is Paul Ambrose, who recalls how his son, Nicholas, received an unexpected visitor in London's Barts hospital.


Nicholas Ambrose & Paul Newman
Nicholas meets Butch Cassidy
My wife and I will never forget it. Nicholas was 14 and was in Barts hospital for the latest in a series of operations for a brain tumour. He was back on the ward and just coming round from the anaesthetic.

My wife and I were sitting beside him, and I looked across the ward and saw Paul Newman standing talking to the ward professor.

He had his sunglasses on, but there was no mistaking who it was - and when he lifted the glasses we all saw those incredible blue eyes.

He came over to talk to us and stayed chatting for about half an hour. He showed a lot of concern for why we were there, asking us about Nicholas.

When Nicholas came round I said to him: "Do you know who has come to see us?" Nicholas, who was still very sleepy, looked towards the end of the bed and said: "It's Butch Cassidy!"

One of the nurses on the ward happened to have a polaroid camera and we took photos of Nicholas with Paul Newman, which it's really lovely for us to have.

He was just an ordinary man. I remember he was very into motor racing and told us how excited he'd been about Nigel Mansell driving for his team at Indianapolis.

Nicholas was a very good artist and Paul spent time looking at his work and commenting on his drawings. He asked Nicholas if he would send him one, which Nicholas did. Paul wrote back to say thanks.

He was a very thoughtful man. He mentioned his charity for sick children, The Hole in the Wall Camp, and said he was starting one in Ireland. He told Nicholas that he should come there for a visit once he was feeling better. Sadly, Nicholas never made it out to Ireland as he died ten months later.

We'll never forget that day - it was the 29th of April 1994. We felt honoured Paul had taken the trouble to spend time with us. It's so lovely to have that photograph, with Nicholas and Paul together.



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