|Preceded by Edward Asner|
Name Patty Duke
|Full Name Anna Marie Duke|
Succeeded by Barry Gordon
Height 1.52 m
|Born December 14, 1946Elmhurst, Queens, New York, United States (1946-12-14) |
Occupation Actress, author, mental health advocate
Children Sean Astin, Mackenzie Astin, Kevin Pearce
Spouse Michael Pearce (m. 1986), John Astin (m. 1972–1985), Michael Tell (m. 1970–1970), Harry Falk (m. 1965–1970)
Albums Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls/Sings Folk Songs
Movies and TV shows The Patty Duke Show, The Miracle Worker, Valley of the Dolls, Me - Natalie, Billie
Similar People John Astin, Sean Astin, Mackenzie Astin, Helen Keller, Michael Tell
The Patty Duke Show S1E11 The Actress
Anna Marie "Patty" Duke (December 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016) was an American actress, appearing on stage, film, and television. She first became known as a teen star, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16 for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), a role which she had originated on Broadway. The following year she was given her own show, The Patty Duke Show, in which she portrayed "identical cousins". She later progressed to more mature roles such as that of Neely O'Hara in the film Valley of the Dolls (1967). Over the course of her career, she received ten Emmy Award nominations and three Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Duke also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988.
- The Patty Duke Show S1E11 The Actress
- Early life
- Later years
- Mental health advocacy
- Personal life
Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, after which she devoted much of her time to advocating for and educating the public on mental health issues.
Duke was born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York, the youngest of three children of Frances Margaret (née McMahon; June 7, 1913 – April 6, 1993), a cashier, and John Patrick Duke (May 9, 1913 – February 6, 1964), a handyman and cab driver. She was of Irish, and more distant German, descent.
Duke, her brother Raymond, and her sister Carol experienced a difficult childhood. Their father was an alcoholic, and their mother suffered from clinical depression and was prone to violence. When Duke was six, her mother forced her father to leave the family home. When Duke was eight, her care was turned over to talent managers John and Ethel Ross, who, after promoting Patty's brother, were looking for a girl to add to their stable of child actors.
The Rosses' methods of managing Duke's career were often unscrupulous and exploitative. They consistently billed Duke as being two years younger than she actually was and padded her resume with false credits. They gave her alcohol and prescription drugs, took unreasonably high fees from her earnings and made sexual advances to her.
In addition, the Rosses ordered Duke to change her name—"Anna Marie is dead; you're Patty now." They hoped that "Patty Duke" would duplicate the success of tween actress Patty McCormack.
One of Duke's earlier acting roles was in the late 1950s, on the soap opera The Brighter Day. She also appeared in print ads and in television commercials. In 1959, at the age of 12, Duke appeared on The $64,000 Question and won $32,000; her category of expertise was spelling. In 1962, it was revealed that the game show had been rigged, and she was called to testify before a panel of the United States Senate. Duke eventually testified before Congressional investigators – and broke into tears when she admitted she'd been coached to speak falsely, an incident Sonny Fox described when interviewed for the PBS program reviewing the quiz scandals.
Also in 1959, Duke appeared in a television adaptation of Meet Me in St. Louis as Tootie Smith, the role that had been originated in the film version by Margaret O'Brien. Duke's first major starring role was playing Helen Keller (with Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan) in the Broadway play The Miracle Worker, which ran from October 1959 to July 1961. During the run, Duke's name was elevated to above the play's name on the theatre's billboard, believed to be the first time this had been done for such a young star. The play was subsequently made into a 1962 film, for which Duke received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At 16, Duke was the youngest person at that time to have received an Academy Award in a competitive category. Duke returned to television, this time starring with Laurence Olivier and George C. Scott in a television production of The Power and the Glory (1961).
Duke's own series, The Patty Duke Show, which Sidney Sheldon created especially for her, began airing in September 1963. At that time, it was not known that Duke, who was 16 when the series began, had bipolar disorder; but Sheldon did notice that she had two distinct sides to her personality and thus developed the concept of identical cousins with contrasting personalities. Duke portrayed both main characters: Patricia "Patty" Lane, a fun-loving American teenager who occasionally got into minor trouble at school and home and her "prim and proper" "identical cousin" from Scotland, Catherine "Cathy" Lane. William Schallert, who died six weeks after Duke, portrayed her father, Martin; Jean Byron, who died in 2006, portrayed her mother, Natalie; Paul O'Keefe portrayed her younger brother, Ross; and Eddie Applegate, who died in October 2016, portrayed her boyfriend Richard Harrison. The show also featured such high-profile guest stars as Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Paul Lynde and Sal Mineo. The series lasted three seasons and earned Duke an Emmy Award nomination. In 1999, the program's characters were revisited and updated in The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, with Cindy Williams taking on the villain role of Sue Ellen Turner when Kitty Sullivan was unable to reprise her role.
After the cancellation of The Patty Duke Show in 1966, Duke began her adult acting career by playing Neely O'Hara in Valley of the Dolls (1967). The film was a box-office success, but audiences and critics had a difficult time accepting all-American-teenager Duke as an alcoholic, drug-addicted singing star. While the film has since become a camp classic—thanks in large part to Duke's over-the-top performance—at the time, it almost ruined her career. In 1969, Duke starred in Me, Natalie, a film in which she played an "ugly duckling" Brooklyn teenager struggling to make a life for herself in the Bohemian world in Greenwich Village. Duke won the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) for the role.
Duke returned to television in 1970, starring in a made-for-TV movie, My Sweet Charlie. Her portrayal of a pregnant teenager on the run won Duke her first Emmy Award. Her acceptance speech was rambling, angry and disjointed, leading many in the industry to believe she was drunk or using drugs at the moment. In fact, Duke was experiencing a manic phase of her bipolar disorder, which would remain undiagnosed until 1982. She received her second Emmy in 1977 for the TV miniseries Captains and the Kings and her third in 1980 for a TV version of her 1979 stage revival of The Miracle Worker, this time playing Anne Sullivan to Melissa Gilbert's Helen Keller. Her turns in the made-for-TV movies The Women's Room (1980) and George Washington (1984) both garnered her Emmy nominations. In the 1980s, Duke was cast in a number of short-lived TV series: the ABC sitcom It Takes Two, from Soap and Benson creator Susan Harris—which was cancelled after one season—Hail To The Chief, in which she appeared as the first female President of the United States, and a comedy, Karen's Song, which aired on the fledgling Fox network.
Duke's film roles in the 1980s included the Canadian film By Design (1981), which garnered her a Genie Award nomination for Best Foreign Actress, and the made-for-TV movie A Time to Triumph (1986), the true story of Concetta Hassan, a woman who struggles to support her family after her husband is injured but who eventually becomes a United States Army helicopter pilot. In 1990, Duke's autobiography, Call Me Anna, was adapted for television; she played herself from her mid-30s onward. In 1992, Duke portrayed the mother of Meg Ryan's character in the film adaptation of the play Prelude to a Kiss. Duke received an Emmy nomination in 1999 for her appearances in three episodes of Touched by an Angel.
In 1985, Duke was the second woman, after Kathleen Nolan, to be elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, a post she held until 1988. Her tenure as president was marked by factional in-fighting and controversy; however, she gained respect for managing to maintain solidarity amongst members. During her term, she led industrial actions and contract negotiations and oversaw the relocation of the guild's headquarters.
Duke gradually reduced her work schedule in the 2000s, but took occasional TV roles, including guest appearances on shows such as Glee and the reboot of Hawaii Five-0. In 2015, Duke made her final TV appearance, guest-starring as Grandma Janice and Great-aunt Hilary, a pair of identical twins on Liv and Maddie. In 2011, she joined the cast of the drama The Protector. She also returned to the stage on occasion—in 2002 as Aunt Eller in a revival of Oklahoma! on Broadway and in 2009 as Madame Morrible in the San Francisco production of the musical Wicked. In May 2011, Duke directed the stage version of The Miracle Worker at Interplayers Theater in Spokane, Washington. In 2011, Duke appeared in public service announcements for the U.S. government, promoting the social security website. In several, she appeared as Patty and Cathy using split-screen effects. In others, she appeared with George Takei wearing a Star Trek-like costume.
Duke had a successful singing career, including two Top 40 hits in 1965, "Don't Just Stand There" (#8) and "Say Something Funny" (#22). She also performed on TV shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show.
Mental health advocacy
In 1987, Duke revealed in her autobiography that she had been diagnosed with manic depression (now called bipolar disorder) in 1982, becoming one of the first public figures to speak out about personal experience of mental health. Her treatment, which included lithium as a medication and therapy, stabilized her and she became an activist for numerous mental health causes. She lobbied the United States Congress and joined forces with the National Institute of Mental Health and National Alliance on Mental Illness in order to increase awareness, funding and research for people with mental illness. In 2007, Duke appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, talking about her bipolar disorder.
Duke wrote two books: her autobiography, Call Me Anna (ISBN 0-553-27205-5) in 1987 and Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness (ISBN 0-553-56072-7) in 1992.
On August 17, 2004, Duke received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the motion picture industry. On December 14, 2007, her 61st birthday, Duke was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters degree from the University of North Florida for her work in advancing awareness of mental health issues. On March 6, 2010, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Duke was married four times and had three children.
In 1965, Duke married director Harry Falk, who was 13 years her senior. During their marriage, she had repeated mood swings, drank heavily, became anorexic and overdosed on pills a number of times. The couple divorced in 1969.
In early 1970, at the age of 23, Duke became involved with three men at the same time: 17-year-old Here's Lucy star Desi Arnaz, Jr., actor John Astin, who was 16 years her senior, and rock promoter Michael Tell. The relationship with Arnaz was widely publicized, due in part to the vocal and public opposition of Arnaz's mother, actress and production company executive Lucille Ball. By late spring, Duke and Arnaz had broken off their relationship.
In June 1970, Duke learned she was pregnant and married Michael Tell on June 26, 1970, during a manic phase, in order to "give (her child) a name". Their marriage lasted 13 days before ending in an annulment on July 9, 1970; Her son, actor Sean Astin, was born on February 25, 1971. Duke said in her 1987 autobiography that the marriage to Tell was never consummated and that Astin was the actual biological father of Sean, but that she had always believed that Arnaz Jr. was Sean's biological father. It turned out that all three statements were incorrect: in 1994, Sean Astin underwent biological testing to determine his paternity and the results showed that Astin's biological father is actually Tell.
Duke married John Astin in August 1972. Astin adopted Sean and the couple had another son, actor Mackenzie Astin, in 1973. Duke and Astin worked together extensively during their marriage and she took his name professionally, becoming "Patty Duke Astin". Duke adopted Astin's three sons, and years later in 1998 Astin's sons reversed the adoption with Duke's approval. The couple divorced in 1985.
Duke married her fourth husband, drill sergeant Michael Pearce, in 1986, and remained married to him until her death thirty years later. Duke and Pearce had met during the production of A Time to Triumph, for which Pearce served as a consultant. The couple moved to Hayden, Idaho and adopted a son, Kevin, who was born in 1988. From her marriage to Pearce until her death in 2016, Duke occasionally used the name "Anna Duke-Pearce" in her writings and other professional work.
Duke had three granddaughters by her eldest son Sean: actress Alexandra "Ali" Astin, Elizabeth, and Isabella.
Duke died on the morning of March 29, 2016 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at the age of 69. Sean invited the public to contribute to a mental health foundation in his mother's name, the Patty Duke Mental Health Initiative. She was interred at Forest Cemetery in Coeur d'Alene.
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