Patty Duke Dead: Oscar Winner Dies At 69

Truth rating: 10
Patty Duke Dead

By Shari Weiss

Patty Duke Dead

(Getty Images)

Patty Duke is dead. She was 69.

Duke’s rep says the Oscar-winning actress died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. A statement reads, “She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed.” Duke’s son, actor Sean Astin, broke the news himself on “Good Day LA.”

Duke was just 16 when she won Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, a role she originated on Broadway. She was the youngest person to ever win an Oscar. The following year, in 1963, she began starring on her own sitcom, “The Patty Duke Show,” in which she played cousins with two very different personalities.

In 1979, Duke took home an Emmy for a TV movie version of The Miracle Worker, which now had her in the role of Annie Sullivan. In addition to several other Emmy nods, Duke also won in 1970 for the TV film My Sweet Charlie and in 1976 for miniseries “Captains and Kings.” On the big screen, other notable credits included Valley of the Dolls and Me, Natalie, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.

Duke had a memorable guest appearance on “Glee” in 2013, and appeared on “Liv and Maddie” just last year. She continued working right up until her death, including starring in a film called Power In The Air, which is slated for release in 2017. The actress of stage and screen also released a number of albums with United Artists early on in her career.

The New York native, born Anna Marie, served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985-1988. In 1987, she went public about having bipoloar disorder, and had advocated for mental health issues ever since. In addition to Sean, Duke is also survived by two other sons, actor Mackenzie Astin and Kevin Pearce. Married four times, she was still wed to Michael Pearce at the time of her death. Duke is pictured above in 2014.


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