Newman, Nanette 1934–

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Newman, Nanette 1934


Born May 29, 1934, in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England; daughter of Sidney and Ruby Newman; married Bryan Forbes (an actor and director), 1955; children: Emma, Sarah. Education: Attended Sternhold College, London; studied at Italia Conti Stage School and Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Hobbies and other interests: Needlepoint.


Agent c/o Author Mail, Chatto & Linnit, 123-A Kings Rd., London SW3 4PL, England.


Actress and author. Actress in films, including The L-shaped Room, 1962; The Wrong Arm of the Law, 1962; Séance on a Wet Afternoon, 1963; The Wrong Box, 1965; The Whisperers, 1966; Deadfall, 1967; The Madwoman of Chaillot, 1968; The Raging Moon, 1971; The Stepford Wives, 1974; International Velvet, 1978, and Restless Natives, 1985. Appeared on television programs, including Call My Bluff, What's My Line, The Fun Food Factory, London Scene, Stay with Me till Morning, Jessie, Let There Be Love, Late Expectations, The Endless Game, Newman Meets, Celebrations, and Pattern on a Plate.

Awards, Honors

Variety Club Best Film Actress Award; London Evening News Best Film Actress Award.


(Compiler) God Bless Love: A Collection of Children's Sayings, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1973.

(Compiler) Vote for Love: A Collection of Children's Sayings, Collins (London, England), 1976.

The Fun Food Factory, illustrated by Alan Cracknell, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1977.

(Compiler) All Our Love: A Collection of Children's Sayings, Collins (London, England), 1978.

The Root Children, illustrated by Sibylle von Olfers, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1978.

Fun Food Feasts, G. Whizzard (London, England), 1978.

The Pig Who Never Was, illustrated by April Wilson, G. Whizzard (London, England), 1979.

The Stone of Life and Other Poems, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1980.

(Compiler) The Facts of Love: A Collection of Children's Sayings, Collins (London, England), 1980.

The Dog Lover's Coffee-Table Book, Collins (London, England), 1982.

That Dog!, illustrated by Penny Simon, T. Y. Crowell (New York, NY), 1983.

The Cat Lover's Coffee Table Book, Collins (London, England), 1983.

My Granny Was a Frightful Bore (but She Isn't Any More), Collins (London, England), 1983.

(Author of introduction) Catherine Haill, Dear Peter Pan, Theatre Museum (London, England), 1983.

The Christmas Cookbook, Hamlyn (London, England), 1984.

A Cat and Mouse Love Story, illustrated by Michael Foreman, Heinemann/Quixote (London, England), 1984.

Pigalev, illustrated by Lesley Smith, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1985.

(Compiler) The Best of Love: A Collection of Children's Sayings, Collins (London, England), 1985.

The Summer Cookbook, Hamlyn (London, England), 1986.

Archie, illustrated by Susan Anderson, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1986.

(Compiler) Small Beginnings: Things People Say about Babies, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 1987.

Nanette Newman's Nursery Rhymes, Beehive (London, England), 1987.

God Bless Love Birthday Book, Carnival, 1988.

Bad Baby, Collins (London, England), 1988.

The Very Best of Love, Carnival, 1988.

Sharing, illustrated by Liz Moyes, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1990.

ABC, Chapmans, 1990.

1 2 3, Chapmans, 1991.

Cooking for Friends with Nanette Newman, Mandarin (London, England), 1991.

Spider the Horrible Cat, illustrated by Michael Foreman, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (San Diego, CA), 1993.

There's a Bear in the Bath!, illustrated by Michael Foreman, Pavilion (London, England), 1993, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 1994.

There's a Bear in the Classroom, illustrated by Michael Foreman, Pavilion (London, England), 1996.

Albert, Lilly, and Me, Carpathian (Reading, England), 1996.

Take Three Cooks: Nanette Newman and Her Daughters Emma Forbes and Sarah Standing, HarperCollins (London, England), 1996.

To You with Love, Ebury (London, England), 1999.

Up to the Skies and down Again, illustrated by Sam Williams, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.

The Little Book of Kids' Talk, Andrews McMeel Publishing (Kansas City, MO), 2000.

Bedtime Stories, illustrated by Michael Foreman, Pavilion Children's (London, England), 2002.

Good Baby; Bad Baby, illustrated by Jonathan Langley, Collins (London, England), 2003.


British actress Nanette Newman is best known for her roles in a number of popular films of the 1960s, such as her role opposite Michael Caine in the 1966 period comedy The Wrong Box and in the dramatic 1964 film Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Beginning her writing career in the 1970s, Newman has increasingly become known for her work as a writer, and has authored cookbooks and collections of children's quotations in addition to creating original picture-book texts. Among her books for children are Spider the Horrible Cat, There's a Bear in the Bath!, and Good Baby, Bad Baby.

In There's a Bear in the Bath! a girl named Liza has her patienceand her good mannersput to the test when a judgmental, know-it-all bear comes to call. The furry creature judges everything by his personal standards and usually finds it lacking; for example he sees no use for a bathtub because it is not big enough for a portly bear! Mary Harris Veeder, reviewing Newman's story for Booklist, wrote that the author's depiction of the bear, with what Veeder quipped as an "'overbearing' personality," receives a counterpoint in the renderings by illustrator Michael Foreman that portray the bear "rather like an oversize, furry uncle, both charming and charmed with himself." Newman's boorish bear also asserts himself in a second picture-book outing, There's a Bear in the Classroom!

In her book Good Baby, Bad Baby Newman presents readers with two stories in one; in this playful reversible story book she includes tales that work together to make what a Publishers Weekly critic described as "a fairly routine, toddler-style spoof of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
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Hyde." Newman tells the story of one infant viewed from two different perspectives: in one view she is a bad baby, while from the other perspective she is a good baby. Demonstrating the do's and don'ts regarding appropriate behavior, the two-sided Good Baby, Bad Baby provides children with a clear message as well as more than a few chuckles.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 15, 1994, Mary Harris Veeder, review of There's a Bear in the Bath!, p. 1374.

Publishers Weekly, February 14, 1994, review of There's a Bear in the Bath!, p. 88; November 24, 2003, review of Good Baby, Bad Baby, p. 62.