Movie icon Paul Newman has fuelled reports he's battling cancer after pulling out of plans to direct the stage production for Of Mice and Men at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut.
Newman has laughed off reports about his failing health, insisting recent trips to a doctor that were made public were for treatment of athlete's foot "and hair loss".
American tabloid reports suggest the actor had undergone cancer surgery.
In a statement, Newman has confirmed he'll be passing on directing Of Mice + Men to Mark Lamos.
He says, "I'm very sorry I can't be part of this Westport Country Playhouse production, but I leave Of Mice and Men in Mark Lamos' very capable hands with the full support of my wife, Joanne Woodward, and Anne Keefe as Playhouse artistic directors."