Patty Duke, Beloved Actress And Singer, Dies At Age 69 After Suffering Sepsis

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Beloved actress Patty Duke passed away early this morning at the age of 69 after suffering sepsis due to a ruptured intestine.

Born in Queens, New York, in 1946, Duke stunned audiences with her Oscar-winning performance as a young Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker in 1962. Following that success, 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 a household name, Duke was silently miserable throughout most of her teens. Later, she discovered the root of the issue after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982.

She then became an advocate for all those dealing with the emotional disease, lobbying the U.S. Congress alongside the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise awareness and research funding for the illness.

Duke was also a talented singer and earned herself two Top 40 chart-topping hits in 1965, “Don’t Just Stand There” and “Say Something Funny.” After her show’s cancellation, Duke broke out of her innocent typecast by portraying the controversial Neely O’Hara in the 1967 cult classic Valley of the Dolls. Duke’s over-the-top performance of the troubled O’Hara helped the film become a box-office hit.

She is survived by her sons, Sean and Mackenzie Astin, both with second husband John Astin, and Kevin Pearce with her widower Michael Pearce.

Take a look at the clip below to hear more about this amazing woman, and be sure to SHARE her memory with your friends!

Wikimedia Commons

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