Actress Patty Duke died today at age 69. She had a career that spanned decades, beginning with commercial spots in the 60s to starring in the Broadway production of The Miracle Worker at 12 and the movie at 16 (winning an Academy Award) through starring in her own TV show in the mid 60’s where she played an irrepressible teen and her tamer “twin” cousin, and on to many TV and theatrical movies.
One of Patty’s last TV appearances was a guest starring role on Glee in 2013, where she played one half of a lesbian couple (Meredith Baxter as the other half) who counsel Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) on marriage.
So sad to hear of @pattyduke_id's passing. She was a wonderful and talented person. I loved getting to work with her. XO
— Chris Colfer (@chriscolfer) March 29, 2016
Here’s a snip from her New York Times obituary.
Patty Duke, an Oscar-winning actress renowned at midcentury as a child star of stage, film and television, who, amid public struggles with bipolar disorder, went on to cultivate a respected career in adulthood as an actress and mental-health advocate, died on Tuesday at a hospital near her home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She was 69.
The cause was complications of a ruptured intestine that Ms. Duke suffered on Thursday, said her husband, Michael Pearce.
Ms. Duke came to wide public notice in 1959, at 12, when she starred as Helen Keller in the original Broadway production of William Gibson’s drama “The Miracle Worker.” Anne Bancroft played Helen’s teacher, Annie Sullivan.
For her performance in the 1962 Hollywood film adaptation, in which she and Ms. Bancroft reprised their roles, Ms. Duke won the Academy Award for best supporting actress.
She came to even wider attention the next year, with the debut of “The Patty Duke Show,” the popular ABC sitcom in which Ms. Duke played the dual roles of Patty Lane, an unaffected Brooklyn girl, and her worldly, Scottish “identical cousin,” Cathy Lane.
Broadcast on ABC, the show ran through 1966, and also starred William Schallert as Patty’s father.
Breakfast Scene – The Miracle Worker (1962)
WATER SCENE,FROM THE MIRACLE WORKER
This scene always makes me cry.
Here’s the Patty Duke Show theme
Patty’s campy turn in movie Valley of the Dolls