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Patricia Neal: 1926-2010

My first newspaper job was with the the now-defunct Knoxville Journal, an afternoon daily in Knoxville, Tennessee. And the greatest pleasure I took from my few years there was getting to know the great actress, Patricia Neal, who died over the weekend.

Neal, a Knoxville native, had long since left the mountainous city behind, but never seemed to mind catching up with the newspaper that had employed, decades before, a theater critic who encouraged her, put in a good word for her and launched her career—getting her into Virginia’s famed Barter Theater, which led to New York and from there to Hollywood.

“Always take what you do seriously,” she told me. “You never know whose life you may touch.”

—Roger Moore,, Aug. 9 2010

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