Vale: Patricia Neal

Film actress Patricia Neal, who appeared in The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie and Murder She Wrote, has died, aged 84.

Neal died of lung cancer at her home on the weekend.

Early Broadway success brought her a film career that eventually led to roles in John Loves Mary, Hasty Heart, The Fountainhead, Three Secrets, Operation Pacific, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Hud for which she won an Academy Award.

Neal persevered through a life that was marked by a succession of tragedies.

In 1965, she suffered a stroke. She was only 39. She had two more strokes after her arrival at UCLA Medical Center, where she underwent a seven-hour operation. Her entire right side was paralysed. She was partially blind. She had no memory and she could not speak. Three months later, however, as she left Los Angeles International Airport for her home in England, Neal was able to joke with reporters about her speech difficulty. She walked with a brace on her right leg and there was lingering evidence of her paralysis. She had a black patch over her left eye.

She rebuilt her career later working in The Road Builder, Widow’s Nest, The Passage, Ghost Story and All Quiet on the Western Front.

Predominantly a film actress, she made her television debut in The Homecoming which launched The Waltons series. She, however, did not work in the long-running series.

There were also guest roles in Kung Fu, A Mother’s Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story, Ben Casey, The Untouchables, Studio One in Hollywood and Playhouse 90.

Source: LA Times


  1. This is so sad, she was an amazing actress and gave many memorable performances. I think she had one really sexy voice! She had a difficult life, but met the adversities with style.

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