Monday, August 9, 2010
PATRICIA NEAL R.I.P.
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.