Oscar-Winning Actress Patricia Neal Dead at 84

Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, 84, died Sunday at her home in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Neal received a Best Actress Academy Award in 1964 for her role as housekeeper Alma in Hud opposite Paul Newman. She was also nominated for an Oscar in 1968 for The Subject was Roses, but lost out to co-winners Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand.

Patricial Neal in THE FOUNTAINHEAD
Patricial Neal in THE FOUNTAINHEAD

Patricia Neal began her film career in 1949 at the age of 21 starring with Ronald Reagan in John Loves Mary. She starred in such films as The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Fountainhead.

Neal suffered a series of strokes in 1965, a year after winning the Best Actress Oscar for Hud. She was left paralyzed and unable to speak, but eventually recovered enough to return to the silver screen.

Her role in The Fountainhead was the beginning of a three year romance for Neal with co-star Gary Cooper. Cooper was married at the time and refused to leave his wife. Neal revealed later in a 1988 memoir that she became pregnant with his child and had an abortion.

Neal later married Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl, with whom she had five children. They divorced after 30 years of marriage in 1983.

Although an official cause of death was not given, Neal was reportedly suffering from lung cancer when she died, according to People.

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