Patricia Neal draws a crowd of young, old fans

PORT TOWNSEND — Aspiring actresses, autograph seekers and stroke sufferers got an upclose look at a woman who overcame tremendous odds to succeed in her professional and personal life.

Patricia Neal, in town for the Port Townsend Film Festival, played to standing-room-only audiences at the high school and the hospital Friday.

“When they told me I was coming, I was really excited,” said Tiffany Westlund, a sophomore at Port Townsend High School. “I’ve seen her movies.”

Neal, 76, uses a cane for support, but still has the voice, the face, the personality that made her a success on stage and screen.

After settling herself on a padded stool so that everyone packed into the high school library could see her face, Neal spoke about her early life and her ambition to be an actress. Her stories of how she realized that ambition struck a chord with the audience of drama and film studies students.

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The rest of the story appears in the Sunday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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