Above: Patricia Neal with Roald Dahl.
1900 – the year in which Roald’s father, Harald Dahl, emigrated from Norway to England.
3 – Roald’s age when his father, Harald, died.
4 – the number of Roald’s sisters – Astri (who sadly died aged 7), Alfhild, Else and Asta.
2 – the number of times Roald married, first to Patricia Neal and then after their divorce many years later, to Felicity Crosland.
02 July 1953 – the date of Dahl’s wedding to the American movie star, Patricia Neal, held at Trinity Church in New York City.
27 – Patricia’s age at the time she married Roald (b: 20 January 1926), held at Trinity Church in New York City.
5 – the number of children born to Roald and Patricia.
Roald and Patricia’s Children
|Olivia Twenty||20 Apr 1955 – 17 Nov 1962|
|Chantal (Tessa) Sophia||b. 11 Apr 1957|
|Theo Matthew Roald||b. 30 Jul 1960|
|Ophelia Magdalena||b. 12 May 1964|
|Lucy Neal||b. 04 Aug 1965|
05 December 1960 – the date on which Dahl’s son Theo was left brain-damaged after his pram was hit by a taxi cab in New York.
4 months – Theo’s age at the time of the accident.
7 – the age at which their first child, Olivia, died from measles encephalitis (1962). When her mother found her having seizures, Olivia was rushed to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in nearby Aylesbury, where she died around 5 hours later.
1965 – the year in which Patricia suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms, whilst still pregnant with their youngest child, Lucy.
Did You Know?
Her aneurysms left Patricia paralysed and unable to speak. Roald nursed her back to health, so that eventually Patricia could talk and walk again. In fact she was even able to return to acting.
1983 – the year in which Roald and Patricia divorced.
30 – the number of years that Roald and Patricia were married.
1983 – the year in which Roald married his second wife Felicity Crosland (at Brixton Town Hall in South London).
67 – Roald Dahl’s age when he married Felicity.
21 – the age-difference between Roald and Felicity, in years.
7 – the number of years that Roald and Felicity were married before his death in 1990.
08 August 2010 – the date on which Roald’s first wife Patricia Dahl passed away.
I called him Mold, because when I was a toddler they tried to teach me the Norwegian pronunciation of his name, but my baby tongue couldn’t get to grips with it, and instead Mold he was, ever after. – Sophie Dahl, granddaughter, interviewed on the centenary of his birth (Guardian, 2016).