Longtime friend: Paul Newman has Cancer

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New Haven, Conn. (AP) A longtime neighbor and business partner of Paul Newman has told the Associated Press the 83-year-old actor is battling cancer.

Writer A.E. Hotchner, who partnered with Newman to start Newman's Own Salad Dressing Company in the 1980s, says Newman told him about the disease about 18 months ago. He doesn't say what kind of cancer.

Concerns about Newman's health have been circulating for months. Last month, officials at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse cited unspecified health issues when they announced that Newman wouldn't direct “of mice and men” this fall.

In response to reports of Newman's illness, the actor's spokesman issued a statement Tuesday saying that Newman is “doing nicely.” The statement doesn't specifically address cancer.