PATRICIA NEAL GONE

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Oscar winning actress PATRICIA NEAL dead at 84.

The willowy thesp who won an Academy Award for her saucy temptress in Hud with Paul Newman, and survived several strokes died yesterday at her home in Martha’s Vineyard.

Neal succumbed to lung cancer.

Neal had already had great success on Broadway winning a Tony before she lit up the silver screen as Gary Cooper’s lover in Ayn Rand‘s The Fountainhead, assisted extraterrestrial Michael Rennie in The Day the Earth Stood Still and launched egotistical corn-pone cracker barrel philosopher Andy Griffith on an unsuspecting world in A Face In the Crowd.

Patricia was also unforgettable as the socialite who "kept" George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

After Pat had an ill-fated affair with hunk Gary Cooper while shooting the Fountainhead,  she suffered a nervous breakdown.

Marrying Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, she then suffered a series of strokes.   She had to learn to walk and talk all over again and the stroke left her blinded in one eye.

They divorced in 1983 after he nursed her back to health.  Neal had learned Dahl was having a steamy love affair with her best friend.

Resuming acting after the stroke, Neal made a triumphant return in 1968 garnering another Oscar nom for The Subject Was Roses.

In 1972 she played the matriarch of the Walton’s family, Olivia, in The Homecoming:  A Christmas Story, a telefilm that served as the pilot for the CBS series The Waltons.

Born in a Kentucky coal mining town, she attended North Western University, making her screen debut in a Ronald Reagan film John Loves Mary.

Patricia Neal wrote in her autobiography, "Frequently my life has been likened to a Greek tragedy, and the actress in me cannot deny that comparison."

Au revoir
, Patricia.

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