Beloved actress Patty Duke passed away early today at the age of 69. Duke suffered from sepsis due to a ruptured intestine.
Born in Queens, New York, in 1946, Duke amazed audiences with her Oscar-winning performance as a young Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker in 1962. Following that success from that film, Duke was given her own self-titled television show where she portrayed twin cousins. The Patty Duke Show ran for three seasons from 1963 to 1966.
Despite becoming successful, inside Duke was miserable throughout most of her teens. It wasn’t until later in life that she discovered the root of her problems after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. Duke would go on to became an advocate for those suffering with the disease, lobbying Congress to raise awareness and funding for researching the illness.
Duke also had two Top 40 chart-topping hits in 1965, “Don’t Just Stand There” and “Say Something Funny.” After the cancellation of her show, Duke broke out of her innocent typecast by portraying Neely O’Hara in the 1967 cult classic movie hit Valley of the Dolls.
Duke is survived by sons Sean and Mackenzie Astin, both from her second husband John Astin, and Kevin Pearce with her widower Michael Pearce.
Watch the video below to learn more about this phenomenal woman, and please SHARE her memory with your friends!