Her personal life certainly affected her career.

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Literally a coal miner’s daughter (her father managed transportation for a Kentucky mine), Patricia Louise Neal began her career on the stage in the late Forties. Her big screen roles commenced in earnest with the 1949 adaptation of Ayn Ryn’s novel The Fountainhead.

It’s interesting to note that even by this early time, Neal commanded top billing, co-equal to the movie’s far-more-established male star, who would figure prominently in her private life.

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She had the rare ability to play sophisticated socialites (with expensive educations) as well as downhome sexpots — even sometimes combining the two. Check her out, for example, in the big screen’s second adaptation of Ernest Hemmingway’s To Have And To Have Not, filmed by director Michael Curtiz in 1950 as The Breaking Point, costarring John Garfield.

It’s certainly no secret by now that Neal’s personal life took its toll, and her physical setbacks were heroically survived.  After all, she logged a career covering nearly 75 movie and tv credits over a period of some 60 years. This in addition to a distinguished stage career on Broadway and in London.

Ok, let’s seen how much you know about Patricia Neal.  As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:

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.

2) Question: Neal won a best actress Oscar for her performance as a erotically charged housekeeper in 1963’s Hud. 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.

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.

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.

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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.

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