Patricia Neal

Patricia Neal

Infobox actor
name = Patricia Neal

caption = The Tribeca Film Festival, 2007
birthname = Patsy Louise Neal
birthdate = birth date and age|1926|1|20
birthplace= Packard, Whitley County, Kentucky, USA
spouse = Roald Dahl (1953–1983)
academyawards = Best Actress
1963 "Hud"
baftaawards = Best Actress
1963 "Hud"
1965 "In Harm's Way"
goldenglobeawards =
1972 ""
tonyawards = Best Featured Actress in a Play
1947 "Another Part of the Forest"

Patricia Neal (born January 20 1926) is an American award-winning actress of stage and screen.


Neal was born Patsy Louise Neal, in Packard, Whitley County, Kentucky. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and later went on to study drama at Northwestern University. After moving to New York, she accepted her first job as understudy in the Broadway production of "The Voice of the Turtle". Soon, though, she appeared in "Another Part of the Forest" (1946), winning a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play. She also appeared in a 1952 revival of "The Children's Hour" and "The Miracle Worker" (1959).In 1948, Neal made her film debut in "John Loves Mary". Her appearance the same year in "The Fountainhead" coincided with her on-going affair with her married co-star, Gary Cooper, whom she had met the year before, when he was 46 and she was 21. By 1950, Cooper's wife, Veronica, had found out about the relationship and sent Neal a telegram demanding they end it. Neal became pregnant by Cooper, but he persuaded her to have an abortion, [ [ "Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life"] ] which made her feel guilty for many years. The affair ended, but not before Cooper's daughter, Maria (now Maria Cooper Janis, born 1937), spat at her in public. Years after Cooper's death, Maria and her mother Veronica reconciled with Patricia Neal.Neal met British writer Roald Dahl at a dinner party hosted by Lillian Hellman in 1951. They married on July 2, 1953, at Trinity Church in New York. The marriage produced five children: Olivia Twenty (April 20 1955November 17 1962), who died of measles encephalitis; Chantal Tessa Sophia; Theo Matthew (b. 1960); Ophelia Magdalena; and Lucy Neal (b. 1965).

By 1952, Neal had starred in "The Breaking Point", "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Operation Pacific" (the last with John Wayne). She suffered a nervous breakdown around that time, following the end of her relationship with Cooper, and left Hollywood for New York, where she returned to Broadway in a revival of "The Children's Hour", in 1952. (She also acted in "A Roomful of Roses" in 1955, and as the mother in "The Miracle Worker in 1959.)"

In films, she starred in "A Face in the Crowd" (1957) and co-starred in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961). In 1961 and 1962 she suffered the death of one child and a grievous injury to another. Her daughter Olivia died from measles and her son Theo's carriage was hit by a taxi when he was just four months old.

In 1963, Neal won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in "Hud", co-starring Paul Newman. When the film was initially released it was predicted she would be a nominee in the supporting actress category but she began collecting awards and they were always for Best Leading Actress. She not only received the Academy Award but also picked up awards from the New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review. She also received a BAFTA award from the British Academy. Two years later, she was reunited with John Wayne in Otto Preminger's "In Harm's Way" winning her second BAFTA Award.

A heavy smoker, later in 1965, Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms while pregnant, and was in a coma for three weeks. Dahl directed her rehabilitation and she subsequently relearned to walk and talk ("I think I'm just stubborn, that's all"). On August 4 1965, she gave birth to a healthy daughter, Lucy.

Neal was offered the role of "Mrs. Robinson" in "The Graduate" (1967), but turned it down, feeling it had come too soon after her strokes. She returned to the big screen in "The Subject Was Roses" (1968), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.

She later starred as Olivia Walton in the television movie "" (1971), which was the pilot episode for "The Waltons". Although she won a Golden Globe for her performance, she was not invited to reprise the role in the television series; the part went to Michael Learned. Neal played a dying widowed mother trying to find a home for her three children in a moving 1975 episode of NBC's "Little House on the Prairie".

In 1978, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville dedicated the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in her honor. The center serves as part of Neal's paralysis victim advocacy. She has appeared in center advertisements throughout 2006.

In 1981, Glenda Jackson played her in a television movie, "The Patricia Neal Story" which co-starred Dirk Bogarde as Roald Dahl. Neal and Dahl's stormy 30-year marriage finally ended in divorce in November 1983 after Dahl's affair with Neal's then-best friend, Felicity Crosland. In 1988 Neal published an autobiography, "As I Am".

was the recipient of the other.)

She lives in New York City, and owns a house on Martha's Vineyard. She is a frequent speaker at pro-life meetings and rallies, discussing her conviction that her own abortion was a mistake which had brought her great emotional pain.

She often appears on the Tony Awards telecast. This may be because she is the only surviving winner from the first ceremony. Her original Tony was lost so she was given a replacement by Bill Irwin when they presented the Best Actress Award to Cynthia Nixon in 2006.




*"Strindberg on Love" (1960)
*"Special for Women: Mother and Daughter" (1961)
*"The Homecoming: A Christmas Story" (1971)
*"Things in Their Season" (1974)
*"Eric" (1975)
*"Tail Gunner Joe" (1977)
*"A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story" (1978)
*"The Bastard" (1978) (miniseries)
*"All Quiet on the Western Front" (1979)
*"The Patricia Neal Story" (1981) (cameo)
*"Love Leads the Way: A True Story" (1984)
*"Glitter" (1984) (pilot for series)
*"Shattered Vows" (1984)
*"Caroline?" (1990)
*"A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story" (1992)
*"Heidi" (1993)


*cite book | author=Shearer, Stephen Michael | title=Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life | year=2006 | location=Lexington, KY | publisher=University Press of Kentucky | isbn=0813123917

External links

* [ Interview with Patricia Neal]

NAME= Neal, Patricia
DATE OF BIRTH= January 20 1926
PLACE OF BIRTH= Packard, Kentucky, US

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