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Patty Duke

Patty Duke

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Also Known As: Anna Duke-Pearce, Anna Pearce, Anna Marie Duke, Patty Duke Astin Died: March 29, 2016
Born: December 14, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Elmhurst, New York, USA Profession: actor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This petite, gifted former child performer had appeared in more than 50 television shows by the time she won Broadway fame at age 12 in "The Miracle Worker." Patty Duke won an Oscar for reprising her role as the young Helen Keller in the 1962 screen adaptation. In 1979, she won an Emmy for playing Keller's teacher--the role originally played on Broadway by Anne Bancroft--in a TV version of the same play. Duke made a successful transition to teen star playing vivacious twins on the cutesy, popular TV series "The Patty Duke Show" (ABC, 1963-66). But since her disastrous feature appearance in the dreadful cult classic "Valley of the Dolls" (1967) and the commercial failure of "Me, Natalie" (1969), she has mostly concentrated on TV roles, to which she seems more suited. Over her career, Duke has won two other Emmy Awards, as a runaway pregnant Southerner befriended by a black lawyer in the TV-movie "My Sweet Charlie" (NBC, 1970) and as the mentally unstable wife of Richard Jordan in the NBC miniseries "Captains and the Kings" (1976). She played a rather sensuous Martha Washington in both "George Washington" (CBS, 1984) and "George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation" (CBS, 1986). Duke brought her warm...

This petite, gifted former child performer had appeared in more than 50 television shows by the time she won Broadway fame at age 12 in "The Miracle Worker." Patty Duke won an Oscar for reprising her role as the young Helen Keller in the 1962 screen adaptation. In 1979, she won an Emmy for playing Keller's teacher--the role originally played on Broadway by Anne Bancroft--in a TV version of the same play.

Duke made a successful transition to teen star playing vivacious twins on the cutesy, popular TV series "The Patty Duke Show" (ABC, 1963-66). But since her disastrous feature appearance in the dreadful cult classic "Valley of the Dolls" (1967) and the commercial failure of "Me, Natalie" (1969), she has mostly concentrated on TV roles, to which she seems more suited. Over her career, Duke has won two other Emmy Awards, as a runaway pregnant Southerner befriended by a black lawyer in the TV-movie "My Sweet Charlie" (NBC, 1970) and as the mentally unstable wife of Richard Jordan in the NBC miniseries "Captains and the Kings" (1976). She played a rather sensuous Martha Washington in both "George Washington" (CBS, 1984) and "George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation" (CBS, 1986). Duke brought her warm maternal presence to "Always Remember I Love You" (CBS, 1990) and garnered praise as real-life journalist Betty Rollin who struggled to assist her mother (played by Maureen Stapleton) to die with dignity in "Last Wish" (ABC, 1992). More recently, she was the mother of a Marine murdered by his trollop wife in "A Matter of Justice" (NBC, 1993) and an Amish woman who helps a detective find an arsonist in "Harvest of Fire" (CBS, 1996). In 1990, Duke co-produced and played herself in the small screen adaptation of her memoirs, "Call Me Anna" (ABC).

After her initial success with her own sitcom, Duke failed to find an appropriate follow-up. She was wife to Richard Crenna and mother of Helen Hunt and Anthony Edwards in "It Takes Two" (ABC, 1982-83) and the first female President of the United States in the short-lived "Hail to the Chief" (ABC, 1985). Duke also was a woman involved with a younger man in the summer sitcom "Karen's Song" (Fox, 1987) and was a woman who becomes a minister and moves to Idaho in "Amazing Grace" (NBC, 1995), which she also co-executive produced.

An unglamorous, earnest performer, Duke has most often played sensitive but troubled types who sometimes display an inner reserve of considerable strength but never lose their essential ordinariness. In her autobiography, she revealed details of her turbulent childhood and her victory over manic depression which she further chronicled in "A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness." Considered one of the best female actors working in TV, Duke became only the second woman to be elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1985. (She resigned from the post in 1988.) During her 1973-82 marriage to actor John Astin, she was billed as Patty Duke Astin. Their two sons, Sean and Mackenzie, are both actors. As a producer on more recent projects, she has been variously billed as Anna Duke-Pearce and Anna Pearce.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Bigger Than the Sky (2005) Cast
4.
 Little John (2002) Sylvia
5.
 Love Lessons (2000) Sunny Andrews
7.
 Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights, The (1999) Cathy Lane Macallister/ Patty Lane
8.
 Season for Miracles, A (1999) Angel
9.
 When He Didn't Come Home (1998) Faye Dolan
10.
 Christmas Memory, A (1997) Sook
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1955:
Film debut (as an extra) in "I'll Cry Tomorrow"
1957:
TV debut, "Kraft Theatre" (ABC, NBC)
1958:
Appeared briefly on the NBC TV daytime serial "Kitty Foyle"
1958:
Appeared on the CBS daytime drama "The Brighter Day"
1959:
Broadway debut as Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker"
1962:
Won Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress reprising her stage role in "The Miracle Worker"
1963:
Starred on the ABC sitcom "The Patty Duke Show"; played identical cousins
1967:
Made attempt at adult feature film stardom with "Valley of the Dolls"
1970:
TV-movie debut with stunning work in "My Sweet Charlie" (NBC); won first Emmy
1976:
Co-starred in NBC miniseries "Captains and the Kings"; won second Emmy
1978:
Featured with Fred Astaire and Helen Hayes in the NBC TV-movie "A Family Upside Down"
1979:
Played Annie Sullivan role in TV version of "The Miracle Worker" (NBC); won third Emmy
1981:
Portrayed a lesbian in the Canadian-produced feature "By Design"
1981:
Acted opposite son Sean Astin in the ABC TV-movie "Please Don't Hit Me, Mom"
1982:
Co-starred opposite Richard Crenna on the ABC sitcom "It Takes Two"
1984:
Played Martha Washington in the CBS miniseries "George Washington"
1985:
Elected president of the Screen Actors Guild (resigned 1988); second female to hold post
1985:
Returned to sitcoms as the first female U.S. President in "Hail to the Chief" (ABC)
1986:
Had featured role in the movie "I Was a Teenage Boy"
1986:
Reprised Martha Washington in "George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation" (CBS)
1987:
Starred in short-lived summer sitcom "Karen's Song" (Fox)
1990:
Billed as Anna Duke-Pearce, co-produced TV adaptation of her memoirs titled "Call Me Anna" (ABC); also played herself
1992:
Made one-shot return to features in "Prelude to a Kiss"
1993:
Starred in the NBC miniseries "A Matter of Justice"
1995:
Executive produced (as Anna Pearce) and starred in short-lived TV series "Amazing Grace" (NBC)
1996:
Garned praise as an Amish woman in the CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation "Harvest of Fire"
1997:
Starred as Sook in the CBS remake of the TV classic "A Christmas Memory"; undertook role based on Truman Capote's aunt originated by Geraldine Page
1999:
Executive produced and starred in the reunion telefilm "The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights" (CBS)
2000:
Starred in the CBS TV-movie "Love Lessons"
2005:
Cast opposite real life son Sean Astin in the comedy "Bigger Than the Sky"
2008:
Acted opposite son Mackenzie Astin in "The Four Children of Tander Welch"
2011:
Guest starred as a woman with Alzheimer's on CBS' remake of "Hawaii Five-O"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Quintano School for Young Professionals: New York , New York -
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1989

Notes

"For 25 years, I was embarrassed and mortified" about doing the movie, she told me in regards to the 1967 camp classic. "Every time I tried to forget about the movie, someone would bring it up again. I mistakenly felt it had injured my career. A year after the film, I was pregnant and lost that baby. I got divorced. So I had a lot of negative memories attached to the film that in reality had nothing to do with the film." --Patty Duke to columist Mitchell Fink, quoted in Daily News, February 21, 2000

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Harry Falk Jr. Director. Married on November 26, 1965; divorced.
husband:
Harry Falk Jr. Had two additional.
companion:
Desi Arnaz Jr. Survived him.
companion:
Desi Arnaz Jr. Musician.
husband:
Michael Tell. Rock promoter. Married for less than a month; divorced; father of Duke's son Sean.
husband:
Michael Tell. Had three grandchildren, three stepgranchildren and six great-grandchildren.
husband:
John Astin. Actor. Married in 1973; divorced in 1985; father of Duke's son Mackenzie.
husband:
John Astin. Coal miner.
husband:
Michael Pearce. Former US Army sergeant. Married on March 15, 1986; father of Duke's son Kevin.
husband:
Michael Pearce. Claims to have six others; Jones claims a total of eight children fathered with five different women.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Patrick Duke. Put Jones and his brother in an orphanage after mother's death; died in 1963.
father:
John Patrick Duke. Cab driver.
mother:
Frances Duke. Restaurant cashier.
mother:
Frances Duke. Cantor.
brother:
Ray Duke. Survived him.
brother:
Ray Duke. Former actor. Born c. 1941; portrayed their father in TV-movie "Call Me Anna".
son:
Sean Astin. Actor. Born on February 25, 1971; father, Michael Tell; for years it was thought that John Astin was his father but genetic testing proved otherwise.
son:
Sean Astin. 15 years old from first marriage.
son:
Mackenzie Astin. Has one.
son:
Mackenzie Astin. Actor. Born on May 12, 1973; father, John Astin.
step-daughter:
Raelene Pearce. Died in a car accident in April 1998; born c. 1976.
step-daughter:
Raelene Pearce. Had seven; survived him.
step-daughter:
Charlene Pearce. Survived him.
son:
Kevin Michael Pearce. Born 1988; father, Michael Pearce.
son:
Kevin Michael Pearce. Died c. 1945; had been institutionalized.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Surviving Sexual Assault"
"Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke"
"Patty Duke: A Bio-Bibliography" Greenwood Press
"A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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