Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal dies

Roald Dahl’s ex-wife loses battle with lung cancer aged 84

Patricia Neal, the Oscar winning ex-wife of children’s writer Roald Dahl, has died from lung cancer, aged 84.

Neal won the Best Actress Oscar in 1963 for Hud opposite Paul Newman, but her career was marked by ill health. She gave up acting two years later at the age of 39 after suffering a series of strokes.

She returned to the screen a few years later after rehabilitation to learn to talk and walk again, and gained another Oscar nomination in 1968 for The Subject Was Roses.

Neal’s career began in the later ’40s, with early roles including the classic 1951 sci-fi The Day the Earth Stood Still.

She originated the role of Olivia Walton in The Waltons, and won a Golden Globe for the role in 1971. She was also a winner at the very first Tony Awards ceremony in 1947.

Neal was married to popular children’s author Roald Dahl for 30 years, and is the grandmother of model and presenter Sophie Dahl.

In a statement issued before she died the actress said of her career and life: “I’ve had a lovely time.”