Nell Newman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nell Newman
Nell Newman Shubert Alley 2011.jpg
Nell Newman in 2011
Born Elinor Teresa Newman
(1959-04-08) April 8, 1959 (age 57)
New York, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Nell Potts
Occupation Actress, biologist, philanthropist, entrepreneur
Years active 1968-present
Spouse(s) Gary Irving (2005-present)
Parent(s) Paul Newman
Joanne Woodward

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.

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, she is the eldest child of actress Joanne Woodward and the late actor, businessman, and philanthropist 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 age 28 of a drug overdose. She 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.[1]

Film career[edit]

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 her father.

Newman's Own Organics[edit]

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, 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."[2] 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 by 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.[3]

She and her father were featured together in many of its marketing campaigns, often posed to resemble American Gothic, an iconic painting by Grant Wood.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

She has been married to Gary Irving since 2005.[4] They reside in California.


In 2014, Newman received the prestigious Rachel Carson Award from The National Audubon Society for her environmental leadership.[5]


  1. ^ "Nell's corner". Newman's Own Organics. Archived from the original on November 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed January 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Newman's Own - Common Good". Newman's Own Inc. Archived from the original on April 22, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Marriage brings Newman to Gower". BBC News. March 11, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Audubon's Women In Conservation". Retrieved July 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]