Julia Roberts: Paul Newman 'Was My Hero'

09/27/2008 at 12:00 PM EDT

Julia Roberts: Paul Newman 'Was My Hero'
Roberts and Newman
Lester Cohen/WireImage; REUTERS/Jim Ruymen /Landov
As Hollywood mourns the loss of a screen legend, Oscar winner Julia Roberts remembered Paul Newman as more than just an actor.

"He was my hero," Roberts tells PEOPLE.

The actress was on the board of Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang, which funds camp programs for children with serious illnesses, and had recently attended an event for the charity with his wife, actress Joanne Woodward.

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