Monday, August 9, 2010

Somebody Died: Patricia Neal

You know those famous actresses who you already thought were dead because they were in very old movies, but you didn't know they were alive until you found out they just died? Well, that's pretty much the experience I got when I found out that Patricia Neal died. I do indeed speak of the star of such classics as The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and Breakfast at Tiffany's. She doesn't have many films on her resume that resound in pop culture today, but she made a lasting impact.

I write this, having not seen either of the two films listed above, nor have I seen Hud, the film which earned her an Academy Award. She died on Sunday evening after a fight with lung cancer, and when I heard about it, I just didn't know what to say. I wasn't well enough acquainted with her work to distinguish her from all the other semi-identical actresses of the black and white era. I'm going to have to go back and see some of these films within the next few months, but for now, I'm left with hollow news.

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