Paul Newman has died at the age of 83, his spokeswoman has confirmed.

The Cool Hand Luke star passed away on Friday due to cancer, Marni Tomljanovic said. No other details were given.

A ten-time Academy award nominee, Newman took the best actor Oscar for his role in The Color of Money in 1986.

In June this year, the acting legend issued a short statement saying he was "doing nicely" after reports emerged that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer.

A number of US television networks and websites claimed on Monday that Newman was seriously ill with the disease, and undergoing out-patient treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

His agent Toni Howard said the rumours were "not true" at the time.

The Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid star stepped down as director of a production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men earlier this year, with unspecified health issues cited.

Newman retired from acting in May 2007, blaming poor health.

"I've been doing it for 50 years. That's enough," he told ABC television at the time.

"I'm not able to work any more as an actor at the level I would want to. You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention."

27/09/2008 15:20:22