Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Patty Duke, 1946-2016


Patty Duke (r.) with Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker (1962)

I was quite surprised to come home today to the news that Patty Duke has died at the age of 69. Duke won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker.



What is probably Duke's other best-known film role would be playing Neely O'Hara in Valley of the Dolls, a movie about the pitfalls of Hollywood stardom that was probably supposed to be serious and hard-hitting, but winds up being campy and hilarious. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth a watch.

Duke did a lot of TV work, and you might be able to catch her on one or another of the nostalgia channels. I'm not certain which one, if any, runs The Patty Duke Show. GSN has run some of her appearances on The $25,000 Pyramid, while appearances on Match Game may wind up on Buzzer.

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