Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy 84th Birthday Patricia Neal!

Patricia Neal was born Patsy Louise Neal on January 20, 1926 in Packard, Kentucky.

She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and studied drama at Northwestern University.

After moving to New York, she accepted her first job as understudy in the Broadway production of The Voice of the Turtle.

She made her Broadway debut in Another Part of the Forest (1946), winning a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play. She also appeared in the Broadway productions of The Miracle Worker, A Roomful of Roses, and The Children's Hour.

She often appears on the Tony Awards telecast, as she is the only surviving winner from the very first ceremony.

In 1949, Patricia Neal made her film debut in John Loves Mary. She next appeared in The Fountainhead (1949). Her film credits include The Hasty Heart (1949), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Operation Pacific (1951), Washington Story (1952), A Face in the Crowd (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Hud (1963), In Harm's Way (1965) and The Subject Was Roses (1968).

In 1963, Patricia Neal won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Hud, co-starring Paul Newman.

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for The Subject Was Roses.

Patricia Neal was offered the role of "Mrs. Robinson" in The Graduate (1967), but turned it down, feeling it had come too soon after her strokes.

She later starred as Olivia Walton in the television movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), which was the pilot episode for The Waltons. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance and won the Golden Globe.

In 1975, Patricia Neal played a dying widowed mother trying to find a home for her three children in a moving episode of NBC's Little House on the Prairie.

In 1978, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville dedicated the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in her honor.

Patricia Neal's most recent role was Margie in Flying By (2009).

Patricia Neal was married to Roald Dahl from July 2, 1953 until their divorce on November 17, 1983, they had five children. She also has seven grandchildren.

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