How much did you know about the memorable star of the 40s, 50s and 60s?
Here she is with her costar Gary Cooper, preparing for a scene in 1949’s The Fountainhead. He was 47 at the time, and married. Patricia Neal was a mere 22, and single.
Well, this is Hollywood and the inevitable happened. The two began a passionate liaison that ended badly for Neal (an abortion and nervous collapse). Cooper remain married to his wife (ex-actress Sandra Shaw) while Neal went on to marry British writer Roald Dahl in the summer of 1953.
It was Dahl that virtually saved Neal’s life. Cooper died in 1961, Neal passed in 2010 (at the age of 84) while Dahl died in 1990, seven years after his marriage to Neal ended. Now, on to Patricia Neal Quiz answers:
1) Question: Neal costarred and hobnobbed with some of the biggest names in the business. Which one of the following was her passionate lover? a) John Wayne; b) Paul Newman; c) author Roald Dahl; or d) Gary Cooper.
1) Answer: As indicated above, it’s (d) Gary Cooper. Neal carried a torch for him pretty much all her life. She described Coop as the most gorgeously attractive man…and bright, too.
2) Question: Neal won a best actress Oscar for her performance as a erotically charged housekeeper in 1963’s Hud. (See above.) But she did not collect her Academy Award in person. Why? a) She had been seriously injured in a car accident; b) She had suffered a heart attack at the time; c) She avoided the award ceremony to make a political statement; or d) She was eight months pregnant with her daughter Ophelia.
2) Answer: d) Neal was indeed pregnant at the time of the Academy Award ceremonies, and opted to skip the event in April of 1964. She is one of 14 best actress Oscar winners that did not accept their awards in person.
3) Question: It’s more or less common knowledge that Neal survived serious health challenges. What was the most life-threatening? a) A heart attack suffered early in her Hollywood career; b) A series of strokes in 1965; c) Lung cancer; or d) None of the above.
3) Answer: No question that (b) the strokes were Neal’s most formidable health challenges. They occurred while she was shooting John Ford’s drama, 7 Women (she was replaced in the cast by Anne Bancroft). Neal underwent arduous surgery (complicated by her pregnancy at the time), followed by a very long period of rehabilitation supervised by her husband (Dahl). Neal recovered just about all her functions although memory loss was a long-standing hurdle. In any case her medical saga stands as one of the most remarkable and inspiring physical comebacks in movie history.
4) Question: Neal noticed something intriguing about costar Ronald Reagan during the shooting of the 1949 war drama, The Hasty Heart. What was it? a) He was a serial womanizer; b) He wore a wig; c) He opening expressed his political ambitions; or d) He was deeply depressed about his marital breakup with Jane Wyman.
4) Answer: Neal said she empathized with Reagan’s post marital woes, but what really struck her was his opening admission at this early stage of his remarkable ambition — to become President of the United States.
5) Question: Neal is one of the few actresses in Hollywood history to have a biopic made about her life while she was still alive and active. Who portrayed her in the movie? a) Mia Farrow; b) Diana Dors; c) Glenda Jackson; or d) Farrah Fawcett.
5) Answer: c) It was Glenda Jackson who played Patricia in the 1981 tv movie, The Patricia Neal Story. The role of husband Roald Dahl was played by Dirk Bogarde.