Patricia NEAL (1926-2010)

Patricia Neal
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The Glamorous Life

Placing the spotlight on the stars of Hollywood

THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Patricia Neal, actress, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at a cocktail party on London’s Park Lane.

Born in Kentucky, USA, Patricia began her career on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood, where she found fame through a string of leading roles in such films as The Day The Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Hud, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

“Who knew this?”

Screenshots of Patricia Neal This Is Your Life

Patricia Neal autobiography

Patricia Neal recalls her experience of This Is Your Life in her autobiography As I Am...

Back in England, Roald took me to a formal party at Sir John Woolf’s office. Sir John was producing Roald’s short stories as a TV series called ‘Tales of the Unexpected’.

There were scads of British stars there who had appeared in the shows. Midway through the party, an unfamiliar man with a large red album under his arm interrupted an enjoyable conversation I was having.

That was a bit much, I thought.

The man was Eamonn Andrews, the host of the British ‘This Is Your Life’ television programme, and it was my life they were doing then and there. So that was the reason for Roald’s mysterious chauffeured-limousine trips to London!

It seemed that everyone who had ever been in my life had been gathered. Mother and NiNi, the whole Neal family and Emily Mahan Faust were flown in from America. Roald’s family and half of Great Missenden were there. Even Dr Charles Carton, Kirk Douglas and Duke Wayne sent greetings on film. It was fabulous – on television.

It was a private fiasco, however. We did not have room at Gypsy House to put up my family because all the children were home on holiday. Mother was crushed. Once safely home, she let me know with an angry letter. When Roald saw it, a lifetime of antagonism between them burst like a ripe boil. He dictated a scathing letter saying we would never see her again. I was not prepared to cut Mother out of my life over a misunderstanding, but I still could not take a stand against my husband. The letter was sent.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 502
  • Subject No: 500
  • Broadcast date: Wed 13 Dec 1978
  • Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 22 Nov 1978
  • Venue: New London Theatre
  • Series: 19
  • Edition: 8
  • Code Name: Hud

on the guest list...

  • Roald Dahl
  • Elaine Stritch
  • Joseph Cotton
  • Patricia Medina
  • Marius Goring
  • Wendy Hiller
  • Richard Greene
  • Lucy - daughter
  • Ophelia - daughter
  • Theo - son
  • Tessa - daughter
  • Pete Neal - brother
  • Margaret Vande Noord - sister
  • George Vande Noord – brother-in-law
  • Eura Neal - mother
  • Helen Horton
  • Wally Saunders
  • Valerie Eaton Griffith
  • Else Logsdail
  • Alfhild Hansen
  • Asta Anderson
  • Marjorie Clipstone
  • Frankie Conquy
  • Ann Lamb
  • Angela Hodd
  • Dick Kirwan
  • Patricia Kirwan
  • Audrey Rae-Smith
  • Jane Figg
  • Kenneth Haigh
  • Emily Faust
  • Filmed tributes:
  • John Wayne
  • Sophie Dahl – grand-daughter
  • Kirk Douglas
  • Dr Charles Carton

external links...

production team...

  • Researchers: Debbie Gaunt, Maurice Leonard
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 19 subjects: Alice Goldberger > Michael Parkinson > Mary O'Hara > Barbara Kelly > Terry Scott > Jimmy Shand > Eric Newby > Patricia Neal > David Bellamy > Muhammad Ali > Vera Lynn > Naomi James > Leslie Thomas > James Galway > Elaine Paige > Lord Lovat > Kevin Keegan > Stephane Grappelli > Robert Powell > Shirley Crabtree > Peter Barkworth > Robert Law > Dinah Sheridan > JPR Williams > Joyce Pearce > Ian Ogilvy > Margaret Kelly