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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Remembering Patty Duke 1946 - 2016

Actress Patty Duke, who died Tuesday at age 69, received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16 for her role as Helen Keller in the 1962 movie, The Miracle Worker, which she originally played on Broadway in 1959. Other film credits include Billie (1965), Valley of the Dolls (1967), Me, Natalie (1969), You'll Like My Mother (1972), The Swarm (1978) and Prelude to a Kiss (1992).

Duke starred in five television series - the ABC sitcom, The Patty Duke Show (1963-66); the 1982-83 ABC sitcom, It Takes Two; the 1985 ABC sitcom, Hail to the Chief; the 1987 Fox sitcom, Karen's Song; and the 1995 NBC drama, Amazing Grace. She won three Emmy Awards for the 1970 NBC movie, My Sweet Charlie, the 1976 NBC miniseries, Captains and the Kings, and the 1979 NBC movie, The Miracle Worker (as Annie Sullivan opposite Melissa Gilbert's Helen Keller).

And she was President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988.

Below I've selected some videos to celebrate Patty Duke's life and career.

She played Tootie in Meet Me in St. Louis, a CBS television production that aired on April 26, 1959, and also starred Tab Hunter, Myrna Loy, Jane Powell and Ed Wynn.

George Chakiris presented her with the Oscar for The Miracle Worker at the 35th Academy Awards on April 8, 1963. Duke's Archive of American Television interview is from December 2013.

She made her television singing debut on The Jimmy Dean Show on December 26, 1963.

She played identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane on The Patty Duke Show for three seasons (1963-66). Below is a 1965 episode with guest star Sammy Davis Jr. and a scene from a 1965 episode featuring Duke singing "Funny Little Butterflies" from her film, Billie.

She played a 15-year-old girl who joins her school's athletic team in the 1965 musical film, Billie.

She was a guest on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall on January 24, 1966.

She was a co-host on The Mike Douglas Show in July 1967.

She played actress Neely O'Hara in the 1967 film, Valley of the Dolls.

She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for Me, Natalie (1969), which also featured Al Pacino in his film debut.

She was a guest on Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark, which was taped on December 3, 1969, and aired on February 3, 1970 (her appearance begins at 17:47).

She was the Mystery Guest on What's My Line?, which was taped on October 19, 1972.

She and Rue McClanahan were guest stars in an episode of Insight, a syndicated religious-themed anthology series, on September 11, 1977.

She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special for The Miracle Worker, which aired on NBC on October 14, 1979.

She and Richard Crenna played a married couple in the 1982-83 ABC sitcom, It Takes Two, which also featured Helen Hunt and Anthony Edwards as their children.

She and Paul Reiser appeared on the CBS sketch comedy series, Comedy Zone, on September 7, 1984.

She played the first female President of the United States in the 1985 ABC sitcom, Hail to the Chief.

In 1986, she appeared on Lifestyle Update, a Los Angeles-based cable access program, and discussed her participation in West Hollywood's Gay Pride Parade.

She starred in the 1987 Fox sitcom, Karen's Song, with Lainie Kazan and Teri Hatcher.

In 1988, she appeared on The Morning Show with hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford to promote the new paperback edition of her 1987 autobiography, Call Me Anna (Anna Marie Duke was her real name).

She discussed Valley of the Dolls on ABC's The View on February 11, 2000 (with co-stars Barbara Parkins and Lee Grant), and on NYC's Broadway Beat in February 2003.

She performed with the cast of the Broadway revival of Oklahoma! on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2002 (she replaced Andrea Martin in the role of Aunt Eller).


dmappin said...

I am beyond sad and was stunned learning of her passing. She was a great talent. I have enjoyed everything I have ever seen in which she performed. She will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, Ms. Duke.

joel65913 said...

It's been a hell of a year for losing artists in all the entertainment fields and there is a feeling of loss with each but every once in a while one comes along and just knocks the wind out of your sails with its unexpectedness. This was one of those.

Sure she wasn't the vibrant young woman that comes to mind when her name is mentioned, and good on her for allowing herself to age naturally, but she was a firecracker, a fighter and still in the scheme of things relatively young so the suddenness of her passing adds to the overall shock of her death.

A woman of immense talent, not always properly appreciated. She'll be missed but it was great to see this wonderful tribute to her.

Marc Harshbarger said...

I'm sad, too, Doug. From what I've read, she was a kind and wonderful person in addition to being a talented actress.

Marc Harshbarger said...

I'm so glad you liked my tribute to her, Joel. And I agree that there have been way too many sad losses in the world of entertainment/pop culture so far in 2016. Here's hoping everyone else stays healthy the rest of the year!

Christoph said...

Absolutely stunned by her passing - it was so unexpected with her being only 69. I love your tribute - strangely I had no idea that Duke could sing so well. I remember seeing her on TV as a child in a broadcast of The Miracle Worker and thought she was amazing. Although to be truthful, my better memories are of some of the thrillers she did (even as a kid I was enrapt with mysteries and thrillers). Her performance in You'll Like My Mother was first rate and I also remember her as wonderful in a TV suspenser she did with Richard Crenna, whose title eludes me now. She was also an insightful and often hilarious guest on talk shows as some of your posted clips demonstrate. I have recently been catching episodes of The Patty Duke Show on MeTV, which I had never seen before and they have been delightful. She will be sorely missed.