Nell Newman in 2011
|Born||Elinor Teresa Newman
April 8, 1959
New York, New York, U.S.
|Other names||Nell Potts|
|Occupation||Actress, biologist, philanthropist, entrepreneur|
|Spouse(s)||Gary Irving (2005-present)|
Elinor Teresa Newman (born April 8, 1959) is a former child actress who performed under the name of Nell Potts. She is an environmentalist, biologist, and a prominent supporter of sustainable agriculture, who became an entrepreneur when she founded an organic food and pet food production company, Newman's Own Organics.
Born in New York, New York she is the eldest child of actors Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. She has two sisters from that marriage and three half-siblings from her father's first marriage, one of whom, Scott, died at the age of twenty-eight of a drug overdose. Newman is a graduate of The Putney School in Putney, Vermont. She attended the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, from which she graduated in 1987.
She has been married to Gary Irving since 2005. They reside in California.
She worked professionally as an actress during the 1960s and 1970s. Under the direction of her father, she played the title character as a child in Rachel, Rachel (1968), in which her mother Joanne Woodward portrayed the adult Rachel. In the next decade she starred in the film The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), which featured her mother as a central character and which was directed by Paul Newman. Reviews for her performance were positive, including a rave from Roger Ebert, who wrote that "the performance by Nell Potts is extraordinary. She glows."
Newman’s Own Organics
Following her education in human ecology at the College of the Atlantic, she worked as a biologist for fundraising institutions until 1993, when, at the age of thirty-four, she founded Newman’s Own Organics. It is a food production and condiment manufacturing company, specializing in organic products, that has become a national brand. Royalties paid by Newman's Own Organics for use of the Newman name support the charitable activities of Newman's Own Foundation. Her work in organic food was inspired by her childhood at their home in rural Connecticut, where she ate vegetables from her mother’s garden and made pies out of apples picked from their trees.
She developed a friendship with Alice Waters, the owner of the restaurant, Chez Panisse. Drawing upon that friendship, she has remarked that, "With Alice Waters I had the unquestionable proof that organic food doesn't have to taste like 'health food'. As a matter of fact, organic food tastes better." Following that line of thought, Great-tasting products that happen to be organic, has become the slogan of Newman's Own Organics.
Her father died of lung cancer on September 26, 2008. He had participated in the business, most importantly, lending his name and image as a boost to the fledgling business that began as a division of a business he and his friend, author A. E. Hotchner, founded in 1982. She and her father were featured together in many of its marketing campaigns, often posed to resemble an iconic painting by Grant Wood, American Gothic.
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