Three-time Emmy award winning actress Patty Duke has died. She was 69.
According to her manager, Michelle Stubbs, Duke passes away early Tuesday due to sepsis from a ruptured intestine. “She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed,” Stubbs said.
Duke began her career early, as a child actor, at first exploited and then settling into a wholesome television star. She battled addiction and later became SAG president from 1985-1988.
She played two versions of herself with different personalities on the incredibly popular The Patty Duke Show from 1965-1967, for which she was nominated for an Emmy. After the role was the first time she was treated for bipolar, and she became a spokesperson for the mental health disorders.
She won Emmys for her work in TV Movie My Sweet Charlie, the miniseries Captains and the Kings and The Miracle Worker, for which she became best known.
Duke played the role of Helen Keller opposite Anne Bancroft on Broadway, and later took the role to film, landing an Oscar for her performance. She was 16 at the time. Even later, she played Bancroft's role of Anne Sullivan to Melissa Gilbert's Helen Keller in a made-for-TV movie.
Duke was married four times, and had a relationship with William Tell, with whom she had a son, Sean Astin, an actor known for his work on The Strain in films Goonies and the Lord of the Rings trilogies.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.