Patricia Neal (1926 - 2010)

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Patricia Neal Biography & Family History

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Patricia Neal
Born January 20, 1926 in Packard, Kentucky, USA
Died August 8, 2010 in Edgartown, Massachusetts, USA (lung cancer)
Birth Name Patricia Louise Neal
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Patricia Neal, the Oscar- and Tony Award-winning actress, was born Patricia Louise Neal in Packard, Kentucky. Her father managed a coal mine and her mother was the daughter of the town doctor. She grew up in Knoxville, where she attended high school. She was first bit by the acting bug at the age of 10, after attending an evening of monologues at a Methodist church. She subsequently wrote a letter to Santa Claus, telling him, "What I want for Christmas is to study dramatics". She won the Tennessee State Award for dramatic reading while she was in high school.
She apprenticed at the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia when she was 16-years-old, between her junior and senior years in high school. After studying drama for two years at Northwestern University, she headed to New York City and landed the job as an understudy in The Voice of the Turtle (1947). It was the producer of the play that had her change her name from Patsy to Patricia.

After replacing Vivian Vance in the touring company of "Turtle", she won a role in a play that closed in Boston and then appeared in summer stock. She won the role of the teenage "Regina" in Lillian Hellman's play, Another Part of the Forest (1948), for which she won a Tony Award in 1947. Subsequently, she signed a seven-year contract with Warner Bros.

In the first part of her film career, her most impressive roles were in The Fountainhead (1949), opposite Gary Cooper, with whom she had three-year-long love affair, and in director Robert Wise's sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which she made at 20th Century-Fox. Warners hadn't been thrilled with her and let her go before her contract was up, so she signed with Fox. Her film career stagnating, she returned to Broadway and achieved the success that eluded her in films, appearing in the revival of Hellman's play, The Children's Hour (1961), in 1952. She met and married the writer, Roald Dahl, in 1953, and they would have five children in 30 years of marriage. In 1957, she had one of her finest roles in Elia Kazan's parable about the threat of mass-media demagoguery and home-grown fascism in A Face in the Crowd (1957). Before she had appeared in the movie, Neal had taken over the role of "Maggie" in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), the Broadway smash that had been directed by Kazan. Returning to the stage, she appeared in the London production of Williams' Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) and co-starred with Anne Bancroft in the Broadway production of The Miracle Worker (1962). After appearing in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), she had what was arguably her finest role, as Alma the housekeeper, in Hud (1963) opposite Paul Newman. The film was a hit and Neal won the Best Actress Oscar. In 1965, she suffered a series of strokes that nearly killed her. She was filming John Ford's film, 7 Women (1966), at the time, and had to be replaced by Anne Bancroft (who would later take a role she turned down, "Mrs. Robinson" in The Graduate (1967)). Neal was pregnant at the time. She underwent a seven-hour operation on her brain and survived, later delivering her fifth child. She underwent rehabilitation supervised by her husband.
She had turned down The Graduate (1967) as she had not recovered fully from her stroke. When she returned to the screen, in 1968 in The Subject Was Roses (1968), she suffered from memory problems. According to her director, Ulu Grosbard, "The memory element was the uncertain one. But when we started to shoot, she hit her top level. She really rises to the challenge. She has great range, even more now than before".
She received an Oscar nomination for her work. Subsequently, new acting roles equal to her talent were sparse. She did receive three Emmy nominations, the first for originating the role of "Olivia Walton" in the 1971 TV movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), that gave birth to the TV show The Waltons (1971).
Patricia Neal died on August 9, 2010 in Edgarton, Massachusetts from lung cancer. She was 84 years old.
Roald Dahl (2 July 1953 - 17 November 1983) ( divorced) ( 5 children)
Grandmother of model/actress Sophie Dahl, Chloe Dahl and Luke Kelly.
Received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award (1986).
She was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967), but she was nervous about doing such a demanding role so soon after her stroke.
Roald was credited with helping her rehabilitate after her strokes. He designed her recovery routines.
Grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Her own stroke recovery experiences led to her becoming a champion in the rehabilitation field. Her commitment to the rehabilitation center at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center (in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee) led the Center to dedicate this in 1978 as the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center.
Attended and graduated from Knoxville High School in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"Variety", the entertainment newspaper, mistakenly reported in their February 22, 1965 headline that Patricia Neal had died from her multiple strokes five days earlier. In truth, she remained in a coma for 21 days. Pregnant at the time, her daughter, Lucy Dahl, was born healthy.
After moving to New York, she earned her first job as a Broadway understudy after only two-and-a-half months of pounding the pavement in the production of "The Voice of the Turtle".
Has a summer home in Martha's Vineyard.
Mother of Ophelia Dahl, Lucy Dahl, Theo Dahl and Tessa Dahl.
Daughter, Olivia Twenty Dahl (born April 20, 1955 - died November 17, 1962), died suddenly of complications from measles at the age of seven.
Received her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (1947). Member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
In 1947, the first time that Broadway's Tony Awards were presented, she won the Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) Award for "Another Part of the Forest".
Her classmates at Northwestern University included Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Charlotte Rae, Charlton Heston, Martha Hyer and Agnes Nixon.
Began a relationship with Gary Cooper on the set of The Fountainhead (1949). He was forty-seven, she was twenty-two. In 1951, Cooper separated from his wife with the intention of marrying Neal; however, he never filed for divorce, and in 1954, they reconciled. Meanwhile, the affair with Neal had fizzled out, and she married Roald Dahl.
On March 4, 2007, she received one of the two Lifetime Achievement Awards presented annually by the SunDeis Film Festival at Brandeis University, following a screening of her classic film A Face in the Crowd (1957) (Roy Scheider was the other honoree).
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by Clelia Bernacchi. She was occasionally dubbed by Franca Dominici -in The Fountainhead (1949); Giovanna Scotto -in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); Tina Lattanzi -in Diplomatic Courier (1952); as well as Anna Miserocchi.
Has performed at the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia.
She has a grandchild from daughter, Ophelia Dahl, and Ophelia's partner, Lisa Frantzis.
Grandchildren: Sophie Dahl (born on September 15, 1977), Clover Martha Patricia Kelly (born on September 21, 1984), Luke Kelly (aka "Luke James Roald Kelly") (born on July 17, 1986), Ned Dahl Donovan (born on January 7, 1994) from daughter Tessa Dahl; Phoebe Patricia Rose Faircloth (born on November 4, 1988), Chloe Dahl (aka Chloe Michaela Dahl) (born on September 12, 1990) from daughter Lucy Dahl; Alexa Isabella Dahl (born on June 26, 2005) from son Theo Dahl.
Returned to work 3 months after giving birth to her son Theo Dahl in order to begin filming Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).
Performed with the Tennessee Valley Players before studying drama at Northwestern University.
Pat and Roald's ordeal and ultimate victory over her illness made for an excellent movie, The Patricia Neal Story (1981), starring Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde.
Won the Tony, Donaldson, Theatre World and New York Dramatic Critics awards for her 1946 Broadway performance in Lillian Hellman's "Another Part of the Forest". It was Hellman who later introduced Patricia to future husband Roald Dahl.

Birth

Patricia Neal was born on in Packard, Kentucky USA

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Husband: Roald Dahl

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Female
Death

Patricia Neal died on in Edgartown, Massachusetts USA

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Burial / Funeral

in Bethlehem, Connecticut USA

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Last Known Residence

New York, New York County, New York

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Timeline

1926 - In the year that Patricia Neal was born, on October 31st, Harry Houdini died in Michigan. Houdini was the most famed magician of his time and perhaps of all time, especially for his acts involving escapes - from handcuffs, straitjackets, chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, and more. He was president of the Society of American Magicians and stringently upheld professional ethics. He died of complications from a ruptured appendix. Although he had received a blow to the area a couple of days previously, the connection between the blow and his appendicitis is disputed.

1951 - She was 25 years old when on February 27th, the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution (which limited the number of terms a president may serve to two) was ratified by 36 states, making it a part of the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment was both a reaction to the 4 term Roosevelt presidency and also the recognition of a long-standing tradition in American politics.

1961 - At the age of 35 years old, Patricia was alive when on April 17th, about 1,000 CIA trained Cuban exiles invaded Cuba with the intention of igniting a rebellion and overthrowing Castro. They were defeated within three days. Although the operation began under Eisenhower, Kennedy approved it and the operation, named the Bay of Pigs for the beach where they landed, was a humiliation for the United States.

1967 - Patricia was 41 years old when between June 5th and 10th, Israeli and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought what came to be called the "Six-Day War". The hostilities began when Israel launched "preemptive" strikes against Egypt, destroying nearly its entire air force. It ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

1998 - She was 72 years old when on December 19th, the House of Representatives initiated impeachment charges against U.S. President Bill Clinton. He was subsequently acquitted of these charges by the Senate on February 12th.

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Patricia Neal Obituary

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Made an appearance at the 2008 Nashville Film Festival in which she was given the festival's inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.
Unhappy with her roles in Hollywood, she was suspended by Warner Bros. for refusing to co-star with Randolph Scott in a western. That and her torrid but futile affair with married actor Gary Cooper, which led to an abortion and nervous collapse, quickened her decision to leave Hollywood and return to New York City where she refocused on theater.
Her father, William Burdette Neal, was a transportation manager for a coal company; her mother, Eura Mildred Petrey, was a bookkeeper.
Following her two-year illness and rehabilitation, the Oscar-winning Patricia made her first public appearance in March 1967, in which she spoke to 2,000 people in New York City at a benefit for the New York Association for Brain Injured Children. She also showed up at the 1967 Academy Awards ceremony to present the award for "Best Foreign Film" and received a standing ovation.
On February 5, 1965, while on location filming 7 Women (1966), a pregnant Patricia was bathing daughter Tessa Dahl at a rented home when she suffered a massive, paralyzing stroke, followed by two more. Baby Lucy Dahl was later born healthy but in its aftermath, the actress suffered from partial paralysis, partial blindness, she lost her memory and was unable to speak. Husband Roald Dahl had her undergo extensive therapy back in England, including swimming, walking, memory games and crossword puzzles.
Her 5-month-old baby son Theo Dahl suffered severe neurological damage on December 5, 1960, when his carriage (which was being pushed by a nurse) was accidentally crushed between a taxi and a bus in New York City. He survived following several operations.
After he played such a strong and devoted role in her physical and mental recovery from her paralytic illness, Patricia divorced her husband, writer Roald Dahl, after discovering his romantic affair with her close friend, Felicity ("Liccy") d'Abreu Crossland (aka Liccy Dahl). The couple married shortly after Roald and Patricia's divorce became final.
Returned to work 6 months after giving birth to her daughter Olivia to begin performing in "A Roomful of Roses" on Broadway.
Was in a story segment of The Third Secret (1964) which was removed from the film.
Was 5 months pregnant with her son Theo Dahl when she completed her run of the Broadway play "The Miracle Worker".
Was 3 months pregnant with her daughter Tessa Dahl when she completed filming A Face in the Crowd (1957).
Was supposed to continue playing the female lead role as Olivia Walton in The Waltons (1971) after the pilot episode, but her health problems prevented this.
Was unable to attend The 36th Annual Academy Awards (1964), where she won the Best Actress Oscar for Hud (1963), as she was 8 months pregnant with her daughter Ophelia Dahl.
Her upset at being knocked unconscious in order to give birth to her first child, Olivia, led her to vow never to give birth in New York City again.
Shared an apartment with Jean Hagen in New York City whilst working on Broadway.
Mildred Dunnock served as her matron of honor at her wedding to Roald Dahl on July 2, 1953.
Returned to work 2 months after giving birth to her daughter Ophelia Dahl to begin filming In Harm's Way (1965).
Has appeared on WABC-TV Consumer Line in New York City to deal with a botched contracting job in her bathroom. [March 2009]
Is one of 6 actresses to have been pregnant at the time of winning the Academy Award; the others are Eva Marie Saint, Meryl Streep, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman. Neal is the only to have not accepted her award in person as a result of her pregnancy. Neal was 8 months pregnant with her daughter Ophelia Dahl when she won the Best Actress Oscar for Hud (1963).
Is one of 14 Best Actress Oscar winners to have not accepted their Academy Award in person, Neal's being for Hud (1963). The others are Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Judy Holliday, Vivien Leigh, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Anne Bancroft, Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith, Glenda Jackson and Ellen Burstyn.
Was the 59th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Hud (1963) at The 36th Annual Academy Awards (1964) on April 13, 1964.
Patricia's great grandfather Abraham Thomas Neal served the South as a private in Company G of the 53rd Virginia Infantry during the Civil War. The Neal family lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia at the time. Abraham's unit was involved in Gettysburg and was present at Appomattox.
The role that made Neal a star, at age 20, was Regina in "Another Part of the Forest" in 1946 as one critic called her "a young Tallulah Bankhead. She was visited backstage by Tallulah Bankhead, who had played the middle-aged Regina in "The Little Foxes" and said "Dahling, you were as good as I was - and if I said you were half as good, it would have been a hell of a compliment!".
Less than two years after being stricken with a serious stroke, she appeared at New York's Waldorf Astoria in a one-woman show, "An Evening with Patricia Neal".
Before rehearsals began for the 1952 Broadway revival of "The Children's Hour" starring Neal and Kim Hunter, playwright Lillian Hellman hosted a formal party. There, Neal first met author Roald Dahl, and they were married nine months later.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on May 20, 2005.
Following her death, she was interred at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Patricia Neal always refused to reveal the name of her second husband, the man she married after her divorce with Roahl Dahl.
Was just 12 years older than Billy Gray, who played her son in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).
Bottle-fed her daughter Olivia as a baby as a result of suffering from post-natal depression following Olivia's birth. She did go on, however, to breastfeed her other children Tessa Dahl, Theo Dahl, Ophelia Dahl and Lucy Dahl.
Never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
She was a lifelong Democrat.
Daughter of William (January 29, 1895-April 16, 1944) , born in the state of Virginia, and Eura (née Petrey) Neal (September 21, 1899-February 11, 2003), born in the state of Kentucky.
Maternal granddaughter of Paschal (January 8, 1865-May 12, 1936) and Flora (née Siler) Petrey (January 22, 1871-November 7, 1940). Both were born and raised in the state of Kentucky.
Maternal great granddaughter of Samuel (1822-1892) and Elizabeth (née Bryant) Petrey (1822-1905). Both were born and raised in the state of Kentucky.
Maternal great granddaughter of Green (1842-1913) and Susan (née Jones) Siler (1845-1913). Both were born and raised in the state of Kentucky.
Personal Quotes (10)
In 1949, we stayed with one of my friends who had a book in which people were asked to write down their secret ambitions. Ronald Reagan wrote he'd like to be president. All those years ago!
I think I was born stubborn, that's all.
[on Operation Pacific (1951)] John Wayne had enormous appeal for the public, but I did not find him appealing in the least. I think my charms were lost on him too. He was going through marital problems, which kept him in a bad humor all the time. Duke was at odds with the director and could be a bully, particularly with a gay publicity man, who seemed to draw his wrath at every turn.
[on Gary Cooper] He was the most gorgeously attractive man. Bright, too, though some people didn't think so.
[when she heard Paul Newman died] Somebody came in and told me that Paul had died, and I was heartbroken, because he was a beautiful man. I knew that he was a little ill, and I knew that he was probably going to die, but you know it's just so heartbreaking when one hears it.
Frequently, my life has been likened to a Greek tragedy, and the actress in me cannot deny that comparison.
[her last words while on her deathbed] I've had a lovely time.
[her immortal, earth-saving line uttered to the alien robot Gort in the classic sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)] Gort, Klaatu barata nikto.
[2008 interview] I loved Gary Cooper, for years and years and years. And I still love him. Of course, Becky (Cooper's wife, Veronica Balfe, (Sandra Shaw) was not very happy with me. And I don't blame her. Nor was her little daughter, Maria Cooper Janis, who I guess was about 11 when we started... And I was very sorry. But Gary... I just loved Gary very much.
[on John Wayne] I adored John Wayne. We got along fabulously! The first time we worked together, I didn't like him at all; but in Honolulu he was a much happier man.
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