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4 items from 2010

Patricia Neal (1926-2010)

9 August 2010 9:20 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Sad news. The Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal (Hud) has passed away at 84. She had been battling lung cancer. Neal had a memorably husky voice and something like tragedy in her beautiful eyes. And that was even before tragedy hit.

She first hit screens in the late 40s but the 1960s were a particularly volatile time for the great actress. Consider the Everest sized career peaks and tragic personal valleys: In 1960 she was co-starring with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the Broadway hit The Miracle Worker (she didn't travel with them to the film version); Her infant son's carriage was hit by a taxi in 1961 (he survived); her seven year old daughter died suddenly in 1962; in 1963 Hud was released; In April 1964 she won the Oscar for that indelible housekeeper role (she did not attend the ceremony); in 1965 while pregnant with her fifth and last child, she suffered a multiple »


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Patricia Neal: 1926-2010

9 August 2010 7:54 AM, PDT | IMDb News

Patricia Neal, the Oscar-winning actress whose life off-screen contained as much drama, tragedy, and inspiration as any of her film or theater roles, died Sunday at her home in Martha's Vineyard of lung cancer; she was 84.

An Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winner, Neal was just as well-known for the trials, tribulations and triumphs she lived through, including a nervous breakdown, the death of one of her children, and a series of strokes that left her in a three-week coma while pregnant at the age of 39. Her subsequent rehabilitation, with the help of her then-husband, author Roald Dahl, led to yet another chapter of her acting career, as well as her pioneering for the cause of stroke rehabilitation.

Born Patsy Louise Neal in Packard, Kentucky in 1926, Neal grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and studied acting at Northwestern University before heading to New York, where she began her long and illustrious stage career, winning a Tony Award in 1946 for Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest, which attracted the attention of Hollywood. Though she filmed the comedy John Loves Mary first in 1949 -- a film in which she played the Mary to future President Ronald Reagan's John -- it was the second film she made that year which introduced her to audiences with a huge splash: the highly-anticipated adaptation of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, where she played conflicted, imperious heroine Dominique Francon opposite Gary Cooper's stalwart architect Howard Roark, already a famed character thanks to the success of Rand's novel. Though actress Barbara Stanwyck championed the project to Warner Bros., the studio ultimately cast the unknown 22-year-old Neal opposite the 47-year-old Cooper. »

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Patricia Neal: a beauty that cut like a knife | David Thomson

9 August 2010 6:10 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Blonde, sexy and sharp as a razor, few leading ladies could drive men out of their minds like this Kentucky-raised movie star

In 1981, The Patricia Neal Story, with Glenda Jackson as Neal and Dirk Bogarde as her husband, Roald Dahl, was more than good by the standards of TV biopics. It was co-directed by Anthony Harvey and Anthony Page, and done with taste and intelligence. The TV movie dramatised Neal's struggle with several strokes and came close to showing what a strange and rather nasty man Dahl was. But Jackson wasn't Neal.

At the time, Bogarde wrote to the Dahls, saying: "We shall strive in any case to honour you and the valient fight you fought." (Bogarde acted better than he spelled.) At the same time, he conceded that Jackson ("a bloody marvellous actress") was an odd choice. She wasn't beautiful, she wasn't sharp as a razor and she wasn't from Kentucky. »

- David Thomson

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Oscar winner Patricia Neal dies at 84

8 August 2010 11:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Patricia Neal, the Oscar-winning actress whose life was as dramatic and inspirational as anything she did on stage and screen, died Sunday of lung cancer at her home in Edgartown, Mass. She was 84.

Most identifiable playing characters of strong will and resilience, Neal won her Academy Award for her portrayal of a demoralized housewife in "Hud" (1963), opposite Paul Newman, then earned another nomination for "The Subject Was Roses" (1968), playing the pitiful mother of a returning war victim (Martin Sheen).

In February 1965, after the first day of filming "Seven Women," Neal -- then 39 and three months pregnant -- suffered three strokes caused by a brain hemorrhage as she was bathing to her 8-year-old daughter, Tessa. She was in a coma for three weeks.

She emerged unable to speak, her memory erased and her right side paralyzed. Neal was confined to a wheelchair at first, but her husband, British writer Roald Dahl, »

- By Duane Byrge

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