28 OCTOBER 2008

Paul Newman was renowned for raising hundreds of millions for good causes. And this week star pals of the late Hollywood legend - including Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis and Jack Nicholson - came together to take a part in a benefit for one of the charities he established.

There was song, laughter and inevitably a few misty eyes in the house as a roll call of A-list actors joined children on stage in San Francisco to perform a reading of the play The World Of Nick Adams, in which Paul once starred on Broadway.

The night of theatre was in aid of California camp The Painted Turtle - just one of the special facilities Paul set up to provide fun activities for children with serious medical conditions - although it also served as a fitting tribute to the man himself.

Taking on Paul's role in production - a story of a young man who breaks up with his girlfriend and enlists in the Italian ambulance corps - was Oscar nominee Casey Affleck. Also taking to the stage were Charlie Wilson's War actor Tom Hanks, screen hunk Joachim Phoenix, and Tinseltown legend Danny DeVito.

"It's really a joy to be here," said veteran star Danny, shortly before taking to the stage. "We miss Paul, but he’s here in spirit. We’re all very, very excited about doing this for him."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
It was clearly an emotional day for the Pretty Woman star and her Hollywood colleague as they took part in a reading of a play in which Paul once starred Photo: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Casey Affleck (left) joins a hat-wearing Joachim Phoenix and Tom Hanks on stage at the evening which benefited the late Hollywood icon's California summer camp for ill children Photo: © Getty Images
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