Patricia Neal Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (50)  | Personal Quotes (10)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Packard, Kentucky, USA
Died in Edgartown, Massachusetts, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NamePatsy Louise Neal
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Patricia Neal, the Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress, was born Patsy Louise Neal in Packard, Kentucky, where her father managed a coal mine and her mother was the daughter of the town doctor. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, 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 Louise 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. With 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 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, that of "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 (1972).

Patricia Neal died on August 9, 2010 in Edgarton, Massachusetts from lung cancer. She was 84 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Family (3)

Spouse Roald Dahl (2 July 1953 - 17 November 1983)  (divorced)  (5 children)
Children Olivia
Parents William Burdette Neal
Eura Mildred Petrey

Trade Mark (1)

Seductive deep voice

Trivia (50)

Received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award (1986).
Neal 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.
Born to William Burdette Neal (January 29, 1895 - April 16, 1944; born in Virginia) and Eura Mildred (nee Petrey) Neal (September 21, 1899 - February 11, 2003, born in Kentucky), Patsy Louise Neal grew up, with her two siblings, Pete and Margaret Ann, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and graduated from Knoxville High School. The family abounded with nicknames: William Neal was a transportation manager for the Southern Coal and & Coke Co. who acquired his nickname "Coot" because he was "just plain cute" in his earlier years. Eura Mildred Petrey Neal had been named after Eura Hogg, a young woman from a well-known Texan family. Margaret Ann Neal (Patricia Neal's sister) was known as "NiNi Neal".
"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. Husband Roald Dahl was credited with helping her rehabilitate after her strokes. He designed her strenuous and intense recovery routines. Her 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.
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".
Consolidated into related trivia entry ("Patricia Neal died of lung cancer in 2010, aged 84, at her home in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. She was interred at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Litchfield County, Connecticut, where she was friends with the Reverend Mother Dolores Hart (who had been an actress before entering religious life under the same name, ( Dolores Hart) and where Neal had spent time before becoming a Catholic late in life. She was survived by her four surviving children and her grandchildren: Sophie Dahl (born September 15, 1977), Clover Martha Patricia Kelly (born September 21, 1984), Luke Kelly (aka "Luke James Roald Kelly"; born July 17, 1986), Ned Dahl Donovan (born January 7, 1994) from daughter Tessa Dahl; Phoebe Patricia Rose Faircloth (born November 4, 1988), Chloe Dahl (aka Chloe Michaela Dahl; born September 12, 1990) from daughter Lucy Dahl; Alexa Isabella Dahl (born June 26, 2005) from son Theo Dahl. She also had a grandchild by her daughter, Ophelia Dahl, and Ophelia's partner, Lisa Frantzis.").
Neal enrolled at Northwestern University as a drama major, but left after two years for New York, where she landed a job as understudy for the two female leads in "Voice of the Turtle", where, at the producer's suggestion she amended her forename from Patsy Louise to simply Patricia.
Her classmates at Northwestern University included Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Charlotte Rae, Charlton Heston, Martha Hyer and Agnes Nixon.
Began a relationship with the much older Gary Cooper on the set of The Fountainhead (1949) around 1948. By late 1951, the affair ended and Cooper reconciled with his wife, Veronica "Rocky" Cooper (nee Balfe), an actress known as Sandra Shaw. Their daughter, Maria (later Maria Cooper Janis, wife of Byron Janis), then around 11 or 12 years old, publicly spat at Neal in the street, although many years later, Maria and Veronica (both Catholics) reconciled with Neal, with the former introducing Neal to the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, whose Reverend Mother Dolores Hart had been an actress under the same name (Dolores Hart) before entering religious life. Neal would spend a considerable amount of time at the abbey during troubled periods of her life before becoming a Catholic herself, late in life. (Gary Cooper had become a Catholic very late in his life, also.) As a postscript of their relationship, Cooper and Neal met by chance, and for the last time, in New York in October 1955. She told him, "You broke my heart, Gary. You really did." He tried to explain and justify himself by saying: "You know, baby, I couldn't have hurt Maria for the world", his family having proved more important to him than his feelings for Neal.
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.
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.
Neal and Dahl's ordeal and ultimate victory over her illness made for the television movie The Patricia Neal Story (1981), starring Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde.
In 1947, Neal won the Tony (Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) Award), Donaldson, Theatre World and New York Dramatic Critics awards for her 1946 Broadway performance as Regina in Lillian Hellman's "Another Part of the Forest" (a prequel to "The Little Foxes"), which she essayed at the tender age of 20. The role made Neal a star. One critic called her "a young Tallulah Bankhead". She was visited backstage by Bankhead -- who had played the middle-aged Regina in the original Broadway production of Hellman's "The Little Foxes" -- and told Neal, "Dahling, you were as good as I was - and if I said you were half as good, it would [still] have been a hell of a compliment!" 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, where Neal met Roald Dahl. They were married nine months later and would have five children: Ophelia Dahl, Lucy Dahl, Theo Dahl, Tessa Dahl, and Olivia Twenty Dahl (born April 20, 1955-died November 17, 1962), who died suddenly from complications of measles encephalitis at the age of seven. Neal and Dahl had numerous grandchildren.
Neal made an appearance at the 2008 Nashville Film Festival to receive 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 Neal, was a bookkeeper.
Following her two-year debilitating illness and arduous rehabilitation, Neal 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. Her husband, Roald Dahl, had her undergo extensive therapy back in England, including swimming, walking, memory games and crossword puzzles. She later credited him with bullying and forcing her to get better although she resented it at the time. After he played such a strong and devoted role in her physical and mental recovery from her paralytic illness, Neal divorced her husband, writer Roald Dahl, after discovering his long-term affair with her former close friend, Liccy Dahl. Dahl and Crosland married shortly after his divorce from Neal became final, and remained wed until Dahl's death.
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.
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", in which she played Helen Keller's mother (played by Inga Swenson in the film version).
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 (1972) after the pilot episode, but health problems precluded this and the role went to Michael Learned.
Was unable to attend The 36th Annual Academy Awards (1964), where she won the Best Actress Oscar for Hud (1963), as she was in England, 8 months pregnant with her daughter Ophelia Dahl.
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).
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.
Less than two years after being stricken with a series of serious stroke, she appeared at New York's Waldorf-Astoria in a one-woman show, "An Evening with Patricia Neal".
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on May 20, 2005.
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.
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.
Paternal great granddaughter of Abraham Thomas Neal, who served the Confederacy 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 Neal's unit was involved in Gettysburg and was present at Appomattox.
She has appeared in four films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), A Face in the Crowd (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and Hud (1963).
Children Tessa born 1957, Ophelia born 1963, Lucy and son Theo.
In January 2020, she was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.
Survived a near fatal stroke in February 1965 and 3 brain haemorrhages months after winning the Best Actress Oscar for 'Hud'.
Her first daughter died from measles aged 3.
She never appeared in a film nominated for Best Picture Academy Award.

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.

Salary (1)

7 Women (1966) $125 .000

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