Actress/singer Patty Duke has died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was 69.
Duke is best remembered for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker both on Broadway and in the movie adaptation. For the latter, Duke won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 16.
She would also star in her own TV series The Patty Duke Show in which she played twin cousins, Patty & Cathy Lane who had nothing in common except for their appearance. It would air for three seasons on ABC from 1963 to 1966.
Duke would not sustain stardom into adulthood although she worked regularly on television and during the mid-1980’s served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. As it turned out, her stardom was spoiled by corrupt managers who made sure she saw little of her earnings and would also abuse her sexually. In recent years, Duke has become known for mental health advocacy as a result of disclosing her own diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
At the height of her stardom in the mid ’60’s, Duke also scored a couple of Top 40 hits with “Don’t Just Stand There” & “Say Something Funny”.
I leave you with her take of Herman’s Hermits “Henry VIII I Am”.