Who the Heck's Patricia Neal? (Hint: She's Six Degrees From Miley Cyrus)

Oscar winner Patricia Neal
Actress Patricia Neal died this Sunday at the age of 84. Appearing in classics like Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Fountainhead, and The Day the Earth Stood Still, she won an Oscar for her work in Hud starring Paul Newman.

Even with her stellar work, Neal is not a household name, but that doesn't mean she's unknown. In fact, she's had her fair share of scandal and may be even more connected than Kevin Bacon in a game of Six Degrees of Separation. Here are some notable links to Neal you may not know.

  1. Roald Dahl: The author of childhood favorites like James and the Giant Peach was Neal's husband for 30 years. One of the original power-couples, they had five children. (It also turns out that Dahl might need a Six Degrees game of his own as his numerous sexual escapades have recently come to light.)
  2. Gary Cooper: Remember that scandal I mentioned? When she was 23, Neal had a messy affair with Cooper, 48 at the time. It lasted three years, at which point it fell apart because he refused to leave his wife. In her memoirs, she admitted that she became pregnant with his child but had an abortion, and said, "If I had only one thing to do over in my life, I would have that baby."
  3. Lucy Dahl: Did you catch Wild Child on ABC Family last night? Well, the screenwriter for the popular TV movie is Neal's daughter. Another interesting tidbit, Wild Child is one of actress Natasha Richardson's final performances.
  4. Sophie Dahl: The English supermodel is actually Neal's granddaughter. Sophie's paternal grandfather is actor Stanley Holloway, best known for starring in My Fair Lady. As you may know, Neal's Breakfast at Tiffany's co-star Audrey Hepburn also starred in My Fair Lady.
  5. Miley Cyrus: Getting a bit more separated in degrees, Neal's connected to Miley through Billy Ray Cyrus, who she co-starred with just last year in Flying By. (Don't worry, we've never heard of it either.)
  6. Kevin Bacon: Six Degrees can't be complete without going back to Kevin Bacon, can it? It breaks some Six Degrees sin. Their connection is actually quite short: Patricia Neal was in Cookie's Fortune with Liv Tyler who was in Super with Kevin Bacon.

Were you a fan of Patricia Neal? What other connections can you find?


Image via David Shankbone/Flickr

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