Monday, August 9, 2010


I don't know about you, but I could never get enough of Patricia Neal onscreen. I had no idea when I first encountered her in movies as a kid and beyond, especially A FACE IN THE CROWD and HUD, that she was having a rough time in Hollywood because she had starred in what turned out to be a box office bomb THE FOUNTAINHEAD in a role that many more famous and powerful Hollywood women stars had coveted.

I know a little something about Hollywood careers going down the drain due to being associated with a bomb, whether movie or TV show, and about facing tough times and setbacks, as probably many do. But compared to what Neal had to overcome and endure, my experiences look like pure pleasure.

Read this two page obit from the NY Times for a story that sounds like what reality TV would like to be. She was a role model to many for her furious and stubborn refusal (and as the obit makes clear much credit for this goes to her then husband) to let a series of strokes at 39(!) keep her from living a full and successful life, including post-strokes Oscar and Emmy nominations.

Her voice was so unique her films are almost worth watching just for that. But thankfully, she was also a singular screen presence and a compelling actor, so anytime you see she's in a flick, even the "bad" ones, she's still worth watching. I wish there were more movies she was in.


Elisabeth said...

My now ninety year old mother was always passionate about Patricia Neal, particularly as you write here her determination to live fully against the odds. I did not realise she ad lived so long. She's some role model. Thanks Michael.

Jamie Rose said...

I loved her. Yes. Particularly for Hud and Face in the Crowd. She was really extraordinary.


TIM said...

Pat Neal was an extrodinary woman.
You should check out her biograpy
she wrote back in 1988. Her
struggle with a stroke, her
romance with Gary Cooper, her
marital complications with Roald
Dahl and her rise and fall and
rise as a film star. Hud, The
Fountain Head. Face in the Crowd,
and the Homecoming (the Waltons
Christmas movie), and also the
episode of Little House on the
Prairie entitled: If I die before
I wake will be here legacy.

Lally said...

I did read her book because she'd always been and still is one of my favorite film actresses.

Lally said...
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