Patty Duke of 'The Miracle Worker' was acclaimed stage and film actress
Duke won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the 1962 film 'The Miracle Worker' after appearing in the Broadway production of the same name. She also appeared in 'The Patty Duke Show' and 'Valley of the Dolls,' among other projects.
Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review/AP
Oscar-winning American actress Patty Duke, widely known for the 1960s show "The Patty Duke Show," died on Tuesday, her representative told Reuters. She was 69 years old.
Duke died Tuesday morning in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, her spokesman Mitchell Stubbs said.
"She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend ... and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed," Mr. Stubbs said.
The actress was married four times and has three children, including "Lord of the Rings" actor Sean Astin and "The Facts of Life" actor Mackenzie Astin.
The actress began working as a teen and won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in 1962's "The Miracle Worker" at age 16.
“The absolutely tremendous and unforgettable display of physically powerful acting that Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke put on in William Gibson's stage play ‘The Miracle Worker’ is repeated by them in the film,” New York Times writer Bosley Crowther wrote of the film.
She starred in her own sitcom, "The Patty Duke Show" from 1963 to 1966, and had a role in 1967's "Valley of the Dolls."
She later became president of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1980s.
She also appeared in such TV programs as “Glee” and “Hawaii Five-0” as well as “Judging Amy.”
Her performances on Broadway included starring in the productions of the 1959 Broadway production of “The Miracle Worker” and the 2002 revival of “Oklahoma!,” in which she played Aunt Eller.
Duke told the Monitor how appearing in the show "Oklahoma!" fulfilled a long-held ambition. She remembered listening to the orchestra before performances of the play "Miracle."
“Every night, they would play an overture of show tunes, and I would stand right behind the curtain in my Helen Keller costume, with my dirt all over it, and all over my hands and face, and sing along,” Duke said. “I remember thinking, 'When I finish this, I'm going to do a musical.’ Who knew I'd have to wait 40 years!”