Wednesday 7 December 2016

'A wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, and a cultural icon' - Tributes paid to Oscar winning actress Patty Duke

Published 29/03/2016 | 17:54

Award-winning actress Patty Duke poses for photographers following an unveiling ceremony honoring her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame REUTERS/Jim Ruymen/Files
Award-winning actress Patty Duke poses for photographers following an unveiling ceremony honoring her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame REUTERS/Jim Ruymen/Files

Oscar-winning American actress Patty Duke, widely known for the 1960s show "The Patty Duke Show" has died.

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Her manager, Mitchell Stubbs, confirmed that she died early Tuesday morning.

“She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed,” Stubbs said.

Born Anna Marie Duke in December, 1946 in New York, Patty began acting in TV commercials, but her career took off after she was cast as blind and deaf Helen Keller in the Broadway version of The Miracle Worker in the late 1950s.

Award-winning actress Patty Duke speaks following an unveiling ceremony honoring her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Los Angeles, California REUTERS/Jim Ruymen/Files
Award-winning actress Patty Duke speaks following an unveiling ceremony honoring her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Los Angeles, California REUTERS/Jim Ruymen/Files
Academy and Emmy award-winning actress, Patty Duke appears during a news conference (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Patty Duke, named best supporting actress of the year for her role in "The Miracle Worker," poses with her award after the Academy Award ceremony in Santa Monica (AP Photo, File)

 Patty took the role to the big screen in 1962, and won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal.

 At 16, she became the youngest person ever to win an Oscar.

 Duke also starred in her own sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, in the early-to-mid 1960s and then made history in 1965 as the star of Billie, the first movie ever sold to a television network.

 Her other film credits include Valley of the Dolls, Me, Natalie, and A Family Upside Down, while she won Emmy Awards for the mini-series Captains and the Kings and the 1979 TV movie version of The Miracle Worker, in which she played Annie Sullivan.

 Patty became President of the Screen Actors Guild in the early 1980s.

 She opened up about her battle with manic depression in her 1987 autobiography Call Me Anna, which was turned into a TV movie in 1990. Patty played herself from her 30s onward. She wrote a second memoir, A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depression Illness, in 1992.

 Away from showbusiness, she was a political advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, AIDS and nuclear disarmament.

 Patty recently alluded to her illness in a tweet to fans on 1 March, writing, "Hi tweethearts and FB (Facebook) friends. I have been absent, but not far, believe me. I love and miss you all. Hopefully back more soon and often."

 She returned to social media on 15 March to mark her 30th wedding anniversary, writing, "30 years ago today, Mike and I married. We (are) having a very happy and quiet day. Love and hugs to all."

 Michael Pearce was the actress' fourth husband. She was also married to actor John Astin.

 She leaves behind three kids: her adopted son Kevin Pearce, Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin, and actor Mackenzie Astin.

 Flowers will be placed on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday afternoon.

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