Patty Duke, who best known for winning an Oscar for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker” and created the iconic character of booze and pill fueled superstar Neeley O’Hara in Valley of the Dolls , has passed away at the age of 69.
Patty also starred in the sitcom The Patty Duke Show which aired in the mid-1960s. She played dual roles under a then-unconventional premise: identical cousins living in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. She also served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988, four years after her Patty Duke Show co-star William Schallert held the same office.
Duke’s agent, Mitchell Stubbs, says the actress died early Tuesday morning of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She died in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, according to Teri Weigel, the publicist for her son, actor Sean Astin.
Duke, born Anna Marie Pearce, followed on her early success playing the young Helen Keller with a popular sitcom, “The Patty Duke Show,” which aired in the mid-1960s. She played dual roles under a then-unconventional premise: identical cousins living in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Duke was also an outspoken advocate for mental health. She was diagnosed as bipolar in 1982 after years of battling mental illness.
Goodbye and thank you Patty – We will miss you.
Sparkle Patty, Sparkle.