Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal dies aged 84

Mon Aug 9, 2010 9:51am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, whose life was marred by tragedy, has died at the age of 84, her family said.

The husky-voiced Neal won an Academy Award for her role in the 1963 film "Hud" alongside Paul Newman and boasted a long list of stage, film and TV credits alongside Hollywood's leading men including Ronald Reagan, John Wayne and Tyrone Powers.

"She faced her final illness as she had all of the many trials she endured: with indomitable grace, good humor, and a great deal of her self-described stubbornness," the family said in a statement.

It added that Neal died on Sunday morning at her home on Martha's Vineyard surrounded by relatives. She had been suffering from lung cancer, according to media reports.

Neal once had a love affair with actor Gary Cooper with whom she starred in "The Fountainhead" and "Bright Leaf" but it ended in disaster after his wife found out, leaving Neal broken-hearted, according to an obituary in the LA Times.

She was married to the British writer Roald Dahl for 30 years with whom she had five children.

Their son, however, suffered severe injuries after being hit by a taxi when he just four months old and their oldest child, daughter Olivia, died at the age of 7 from measles.

When Neal was pregnant with their fifth child in 1965 she suffered three massive strokes and was in a coma for three weeks.

But with the help of her husband, she recovered and gave birth to a healthy daughter Lucy and returned to films, acting in "The Subject Was Roses."   Continued...

<p>Academy Award winning actress Patricia Neal is shown during ceremonies unveiling Neal's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Hollywood, May 20, 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>