Widow Opens Up About 'Ratty' Dahl

On eve of Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Felicity Dahl grants an exclusive interview
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2008 6:14 PM CST
The winner of the first Roald Dahl Funny Prize will be announced on Thursday.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Tears reach Felicity Dahl's eyes as she walks to the work hut of her famous ex-husband, Roald. She's not alone, either: Director Tim Burton burst out crying when he saw it. "People have strong reactions to this house," said the widow of the acerbic scribe who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. "It's hell" living without him, she tells the Observer, in a rare interview to promote this week’s inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

Felicity met Dahl when he was married to US actress Patricia Neal, then took over as lover and wife for 7 years. In a wide-ranging talk, she concedes that Roald had been a womanizing RAF spy, a temperamental parent, and never really grew up. But his love for childlike pleasures made life special, she sighs: "You know, those are the things in life that matter."