Variety reports award winning actress Patty Duke has died at the age of 69. The double-trouble star of the 1963-66 sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, is still well remembered for playing identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane. Duke’s long, successful and varied career stretches back before that series, to her childhood, in the 1950s.
According the the Variety report, Duke’s manager, Mitchell Stubbs, confirmed that she died early today, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, due to sepsis from a ruptured intestine. The outlet quotes Stubbs as saying, “She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed.”
Born Anna Marie Duke, on December 14, 1946, in Elmhurst, Queens, New York, in addition to acting she served as the Screen Actors Guild president from 1985 to 1988.
Duke starred opposite Richard Crenna in the 1982 sitcom, It Takes Two, which was cancelled by ABC after one season. In 1985, she starred as the first female president of the US, in Hail to the Chief, but the network cancelled that series after seven episodes.
Her autobiography, Call Me Anna, was adapted for television. It recounts Duke’s rough childhood, and her later diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. She played the adult version of herself, in the project. Duke’s own fight for her mental health led her to be an advocate for people living with mental illness.
As pictured above, Duke’s most recent TV appearance was in the “Grandma-a-Rooney” episode of Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie TV series, in October, 2015. As she once did in The Patty Duke Show, the actress played a dual role of identical characters.
Among the family Patty Duke leaves behind are her husband Michael Pearce, sons Sean Astin, MacKenzie Astin, and Kevin Pearce, and grand-daughters Alexandra, Elizabeth, and Isabella Austin. May she rest in peace.
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