Neal passed away at her home in Edgartown, Massachusetts surrounded by her family on Sunday (08Aug10).
The actress, famed for her husky voice, was an award-winning Broadway star before her powerful performance in 1963 film Hud, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as a housekeeper alongside Paul Newman.
She was forced to temporarily retire from acting in 1965 at the age of 39 after she suffered a series of debilitating strokes.
However, after a period in rehabilitation, Neal returned to the big screen in 1968, and received another Oscar nod for The Subject Was Roses.
She later became popular in her role of Olivia Walton in TV classic The Waltons and picked up several Emmy nominations.
Neal was married to author Roald Dahl for 30 years before their divorce in 1983 and she is the grandmother of model Sophie Dahl.
A statement released by her family reads, “She faced her final illness as she had all of the many trials she endured, with indomitable grace, good humour and a great deal of her self-described stubbornness.”