Barry Newman dies at 92; star of ‘Vanishing Point,’ ‘Petrocelli’

The 1971 cult action film ‘Vanishing Point’ follows a former vet and race car driver as he speeds across the country in one of the greatest movie car chases of all time.

SHARE Barry Newman dies at 92; star of ‘Vanishing Point,’ ‘Petrocelli’
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Barry Newman

Sun-Times file

Barry Newman, the actor best known for playing a reckless-driving Vietnam vet in “Vanishing Point,” has died at 92, according to reports.

His wife, Angela, told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday that Newman died May 11 of natural causes at the New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Angela Newman wrote that her late husband “was a rock for so many people, whose spirit he lifted and allowed to be free.”

“He was truly a light for so many, with an incredible, hilarious sense of humor that lit everything and everyone up,” she added.

Newman’s film career included 1971 cult action film “Vanishing Point,” one of Steven Spielberg’s favorite movies. The film follows a former vet and race car driver as he speeds across the country in what devolves into one of the greatest movie car chases of all time in order to win a bet.

The 1970 courtroom drama “The Lawyer” saw Newman play attorney Anthony Petrocelli, who is tasked with defending a doctor accused of murdering his wife.

Newman’s character later got his own NBC series, “Petrocelli,” which ran for two seasons from 1974 to 1976. The series earned Newman an Emmy nomination for lead actor in 1975.

Newman’s TV career also included appearances on “L.A. Law,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Fall Guy” and “The O.C.” On the big screen, he starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in “Daylight,” and in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Limey,” “Bowfinger” and “40 Days and 40 Nights.”

Newman was born in Boston in 1930, and before the start of his acting career, he played clarinet and saxophone in the U.S. Army band. The actor later made his Broadway debut in 1957 playing a jazz musician in the show “Nature’s Way.

In 2007, the star was diagnosed with vocal-cord cancer that put a stop to his film and TV career. He went on to recover and reunite with “The Lawyer” director Sidney J. Furie for the 2022 film “Finding Hannah.”

Read more at usatoday.com.

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