In many respects, Patricia was probably like many other New Yorkers. Originally arriving in the city to pursue her dream of being an actress, she had been in Greenwich Village since 1955. All those years ago, O’Grady and four other aspiring actresses found a great two-bedroom and cohabited together for a short while. Their end of the deal was that the rent would only be $16—as long as they swept the halls and generally looked after the upkeep of the apartment building. Split between four women, O’Grady’s rent was just $4 at this time.
However, as time passed by, O’Grady ended up being the only one of the four who remained in the apartment. And she did manage to take on some great acting roles, although she certainly never became a household name. Ironically, her greatest brush with fame may have come as a result of her unfortunate passing. After O’Grady was hit by a car back in March, people began to talk about the charming, charismatic actress—and her amazing apartment. While others in her area spent between $6,000 and $7,000 for similar apartments, Patricia O’Grady forked out a whopping $28 per month for her rent.
As a result of her effervescent personality and shrewd handling of her rent-controlled apartment, O’Grady managed to play her hand better than perhaps anyone else on the island of Manhattan. Looking into her apartment today is like peering into a time capsule. Not much has been updated since O’Grady and her roommates set foot in the place—over six decades ago! In fact, when O’Grady’s latest landlord went into her apartment, he noticed there was not a heater and installed one for her. But she preferred to continue using the apartment’s two fireplaces for heat.