THE MIRACLE WORKER & Sitcom Star Patty Duke Dies at Age 69
USA Today reports the sad news that Patty Duke, who received a supporting actress Oscar for the role of Helen Keller in THE MIRACLE WORKER, died today at age 69.
The news was confirmed by her representative, Mitchell Stubbs who shared in a statement: "Anna 'Patty Duke' Pearce passed away this morning March 29, 2016 at 1:20 am. Her cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be missed."
The actress is perhaps best known the1960's sitcom THE PATTY DUKE SHOW in which she played a dual role as identical twin cousins. The series aired on ABC from 1963 to 1966. She also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988.
In 2002, Duke took over the role of Aunt Eller in the Broadway revival of OKLAHOMA. Her other theater credits included the role of Deirdre Striden in 1962's original play ISLE OF CHILDREN and the starring role of Helen Keller in the original Broadway production of William Gibson's drama THE MIRACLE WORKER. Anne Bancroft played Helen's teacher, Annie Sullivan. Duke also played Madame Morrible in the San Francisco company of WICKED in 2009-10.
In film, Duke starred as Neely O'Hara in 1967's VALLEY OF THE DOLLS.
Below, watch Patty Duke, as Aunt Eller, and the rest of the cast of Broadway's OKLAHOMA perform "The Farmer and the Cowman" on the 2002 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Sean Astin shared a family statement on the passing of Patty Duke on Facebook