I was so sad to accidentally find out this evening that Patricia Neal, one of my most favorite actresses, died this week. She was old and had had a very full life, but also a very sad one.
There's really nothing I can say about her that hasn't already been said, but I will reiterate that what I love about her is her sense of intelligence in performance. She has a touch of cynicism in her smoker's voice but her eyes were always betraying a little bit of hope here and there. I love the characters that she played-- they were tough, all of them, just like another favorite, Barbara Stanwyck. I'm sure the two of them were drafted into Hollywood due to their beauty, but were able to prove their skill not just in playacting and portrayal, but in what seems to me the ability to channel and understand what it means to be a woman and a human being at the same time.
Incidentally, Neal's performance as Alma in Hud may be my favorite performance ever.