Actress Patricia Neal dies aged 84

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Actress Patricia Neal.
Image: David Shankbone.

Patricia Neal, an Academy Award-winning actress, died at 84 of lung cancer at her home in Edgartown, Massachusetts, United States in the presence of her family. "She faced her final illness as she had all of the many trials she endured: with indomitable grace, good humor and a great deal of her self-described stubbornness," said her family.

Neal won an Academy Award, or Oscar, for her portrayal of a middle aged housekeeper in the 1963 film Hud. In 1965, she suffered a series of strokes but later returned to acting, earning an Oscar nomination for her performance in The Subject Was Roses and three Emmy nominations.

Her filmography includes The Fountainhead (1949), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and A Face in the Crowd (1957). She also played the role of Olivia Walton in The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971).

She married Roald Dahl in 1953 and they had five children, of whom one died of measles at the age of 7. They divorced in 1983 when she came to know of his affair with her best friend.

"Frequently my life has been likened to a Greek tragedy, and the actress in me cannot deny that comparison," she said in her 1988 biography, As I Am.

The Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Centre in Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A is named after the actress and looks after people suffering from strokes and spinal cord and brain injuries. Knoxville is also the place where she grew up.