Paul Newman has issued a short statement saying he is "doing nicely" after reports emerged that he is suffering from terminal lung cancer.

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

But according to his agent Toni Howard, the rumours are incorrect.

She told E! News that the claims were "not true", following a slew of gossip regarding the actor's health, which were fuelled when he was photographed looking gaunt and unwell at a charity fundraiser.

A statement from his spokesman Jeff Sanderson has revealed of Newman's actual condition, merely saying: "Newman's doing nicely.

"This is what I got from him. He says he's doing nicely, and this is the statement I wanted to share with you, and that's what I have," Jeff Sanderson told the Reuters news agency.

"I spoke to his office… this is the statement that came directly from him."

The Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid star stepped down as director of a production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut, with unspecified health issues cited.

Having been nominated for nine Oscars - winning a best actor Academy award for The Color of Money in 1986 - the 83-year-old 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."

11/06/2008 12:09:55