Patricia Neal (Patricia Neal)

Patricia  Neal

Actress. The sultry voiced beauty won an Academy Award for playing Alma Brown in the film “Hud” (1963). Off-screen, she will be best remembered for her personal triumph and recovery over a series of strokes than nearly took her life in 1965. Born Patricia Louise Neal, her father was a coal company manager her mother was a bookkeeper she was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. She developed a fondness for acting during her youth and participated in plays while attending high school. After graduation, she studied Drama at northwestern University and during this period she found work as a model. After acquiring experience in summer stock she moved to New York and initiated her association on Broadway with the production “Another Part of the Forest” (1946 to 1947) and in 1949, she launched her Hollywood career with the picture “John Loves Mary” (1949) opposite Ronald Reagan. Her next film was “The Fountainhead” (1949) which found her sharing the screen with Gary Cooper. On-screen chemistry led to a real-life romance for which lasted three years. After their relationship ended she married British author Roald Dahl (who will perhaps be best remembered for penning “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 1964) in 1953 and divorced in 1983. The couple had five children. In 1951, she co-starred in the classic movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and one year later she returned to the Broadway stage with her origination of the part of Martha Dobie in “The Children’s Hour” (1952 to 1953). She also would portray Kate Keller in the production “The Miracle Worker” (1959 to 1961). She received praise for her performance in the film ” A Face in the Crowd” (1957) and had a featured role in the Audrey Hepburn picture “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) while accruing guest roles on numerous TV programs. After filming the picture “In Harm’s Way” (1965) with John Wayne, she suffered a series of massive strokes that inflicted damage to her nervous system, speech and mobility. At the time, she was pregnant with her fifth child. In three years, through her strength, courage aided greatly by her husband, she was able to make a recovery for which enabled her to return to work. Her first effort after her health crisis was the picture “The Subject Was Roses” (1968). She struggled through memory lapses during the filming however in spite of this, her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination. Neal originated the part of Olivia Walton in the TV-movie pilot titled “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” for the series “The Waltons” in 1971 for which earned her a Golden Globe Award and she continued to make frequent film and television appearances until a year before her death. In addition to her own health issues, she suffered the loss of her daughter (Olivia age seven) to measles in 1962. Neal penned her autobiography “As I Am” in 1988 and received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. She died from lung cancer. 

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  • January, 20, 1926
  • USA
  • Kentucky


  • August, 08, 2010
  • USA
  • Massachusetts


  • Abbey of Regina Laudis
  • Connecticut
  • USA

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