The great Hollywood actress just died at age 84, leaving behind a legacy of fine work and spunky living.
1963’s Hud should be put in a time capsule for her performance alone.
Neal played Alma, the divorced housekeeper who was reluctant to get involved with another creep, even though good-for-nothing Hud (Paul Newman) exudes obvious allure and a nice chest.
Her wit, sexiness, and complexity in the role add up to one of the times the Oscars really got it right.
Off-screen, she was a firecracker, too, fighting strokes and finding her way back to health and dignity, helped by her husband Roald Dahl.
But Roald wasn’t a total Dahl. He eventually cheated on Neal with a younger woman!
And the woman happened to be a friend of Neal’s that she’d invited to stay at the house!
That was the bitter end of the marriage, and he didn’t even have a nice chest.
Still, last year, I saw Pat Neal vigorously promoting Fantastic Mr. Fox, written by the late Dahl.
Like I said, the woman was a spunk festival!