Patty Duke is the Queen of TV movies. She has appeared in over seventy made for TV movies in her lifetime. She was born on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York, as Anna Marie Duke. Her acting career began when she was introduced to her brother's managers, John and Ethel Ross. Soon after, Anna Marie became Patty, the actress. Patty started off in commercials, a few movies and some bit parts. Her first big, memorable role came when she was chosen to portray the blind and deaf Helen Keller, in the Broadway version of The Miracle Worker. The play lasted almost 2 years, from October 19, 1959 - July 1, 1961 (Patty left on May, 1961). In 1962, The Miracle Worker, became a movie and Patty won an Academy Award for best supporting actress. She was 16 years old making her the youngest person ever to win an Oscar. She then starred in her own sitcom entitled The Patty Duke Show in 1963. It lasted for 3 seasons and Patty was nominated for an Emmy. In 1965, Patty starred in Billie. The film was a success and was the first movie ever sold to a television network. That same year Patty married Harry Falk. Their marriage lasted four years. She then starred in Valley of The Dolls, which was a financial success but not a critical success. In 1969, Anna got a part in an independent film called Me, Natalie in 1969. The film was a box-office flop but she won her second Golden Globe Award for her performance in the film. During this time Patty had an affair with John Astin and became pregnant with his child. In 1976, Patty Duke won her second Emmy award for the highly successful miniseries, Captains and the Kings in 1976. Other successful TV-films followed. She received two Emmy nominations in 1978 for A Family Upside Down. and Having Babies III. She then won her third Emmy in the 1979 TV movie version of The Miracle Worker, this time portraying Annie Sullivan. In 1982 Patty was diagnosed with manic-depressive illness. In 1984 she became President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). In 1986 Anna married Michael Pierce, a drill sergeant whom she met while preparing for a role in A Time to Triumph, in 1986. In 1987 Anna wrote her autobiography Call Me Anna. In 1989, Anna and Mike adopted a baby, who they called Kevin. Her autobiography became a TV movie in 1990. Anna played herself from her 30s until current time. In 1992 she wrote her second book A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depression Illness. Anna Marie Duke has had a long successful career, winning three Emmys. She is a mother, a political activist for issues such as the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), AIDS, and nuclear disarmament. All despite having Manic-Depression. She has proven her strength as an actress and as a person.
Patty passed away from sepsis from a ruptured intestine in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where she and her husband Michael had lived for over 25 years. She was 69.