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Patty Duke (14 December 1946 – 29 March 2016)

Patty Duke

An actress who had more success in television than in the movies, Patty Duke was nevertheless a dependable star who rarely subjected an audience to a poor performance. When she was in her teens she appeared in the Broadway production of The Miracle Worker (1959-61), playing Helen Keller, and when it was adapted for the screen in 1962 there was no question as to who should play the role of Helen; it had to be Patty. She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role, and she was able to use that win to transfer to the small screen and her own show (imaginatively titled The Patty Duke Show). Success followed for a third time, and occasional excursions into movies aside, she continued to fare well in TV, including a remake of The Miracle Worker (1979) in which she then played Annie Sullivan; for that portrayal she won an Emmy. In the Eighties she was diagnosed with manic depression, but it didn’t stop her from continuing to give good performances and adding a touch of class to the projects she took on, even if they were largely guest spots on TV shows or TV movies (and where she was usually billed as Patty Duke Astin). She was an instinctive actress, unafraid to give of herself when a role required it, and though she may not be regarded as an A-lister, she did more than enough to earn the respect and admiration of her peers, as well as fans around the world.

The Miracle Worker

1 – The Miracle Worker (1962)

2 – Billie (1965)

3 – Valley of the Dolls (1967)

4 – Me, Natalie (1969)

5 – You’ll Like My Mother (1972)

6 – Deadly Harvest (1972)

7 – Killer on Board (1977)

8 – The Miracle Worker (1979)

Miracle Worker (1)

9 – The Violation of Sarah McDavid (1981)

10 – Call Me Anna (1990)