Monday, August 9, 2010
The last one
And now Alma is gone.
The last surviving member of the main cast of six in the iconic movie "Hud," which was filmed in Claude in 1963, has died.
Patricia Neal, who won an Oscar for Best Actress by playing Alma, the housekeeper of the Bannon family, died Monday from lung cancer at age 84.
Neal was great in that movie. She was sexy without trying to be, teasing, sarcastic, funny. She gave as much as she took from the Bannon family, and in particular, Paul Newman's selfish and cocky Hud Bannon.
"Hud" was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and won three. Melvyn Douglas won Best Supporting Actor as Hud's father. Newman, who died in 2008, was nominated for Best Actor, but did not win. Many local Claude folks were used as extras.
When I think of movies filmed in Texas, three great ones come to mind: "Hud," "The Last Picture Show," and "No Country For Old Men."
Neal, a native of Kentucky, had an extremely difficult life not long after "Hud." She had three strokes that left her paralyzed and unable to speak or remember. The first stroke occurred in 1964.
Her infant son’s brain was damaged when his stroller was struck by a New York City taxicab and a daughter died as a result of the measles.
Neal did recover from her strokes to continue some acting thanks to husband Roald Dahl, but then lost him to another woman whom she had accepted as a friend.
Neal also had a love affair with actor Gary Cooper.