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Patty Duke
Born Anna Marie Duke
December 14, 1946 (1946-12-14) (age 63)
Elmhurst, Queens, New York, U.S.
Other name(s) Patty Duke Astin
Anna Duke-Pearce
Occupation Actress, writer, mental health advocate
Years active 1958–present
Spouse(s) Harry Falk (m. 1965–1969) «start: (1965)–end+1: (1970)»"Marriage: Harry Falk to Patty Duke" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Duke)
Michael Tell (m. 1970–1970) «start: (1970)–end+1: (1971)»"Marriage: Michael Tell to Patty Duke" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Duke))
John Astin (m. 1972–1985) «start: (1972)–end+1: (1986)»"Marriage: John Astin to Patty Duke" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Duke)
Michael Pearce (m. 1986–present) «start: (1986)»"Marriage: Michael Pearce to Patty Duke" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Duke)
Official website

Anna Marie "Patty" Duke (born December 14, 1946) is an American actress of stage, film, and television. She was able to make the rare successful transition from child star (winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16) to award-winning adult actress. She was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild (1985 to 1988).

Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, and since then has devoted most of her time to advocating and educating the public on mental health issues.

Contents

Early life

Duke was born Anna Marie Duke in Elmhurst, Queens, New York, the daughter of Frances (née McMahon), a cashier, and John Patrick Duke, a handyman and cab driver.[1][2] Her father was Irish American and her maternal grandmother was German.[2]

Duke experienced a childhood of hard times. Her father was an alcoholic, and her mother suffered from clinical depression and was prone to violence. When Duke was 6, her mother threw her father out; when she was 8, her mother turned Duke's care over to John and Ethel Ross, who became her managers, recognized her talent and promoted her as a child actress.[3]

The Rosses' methods were unscrupulous. For instance, they consistently billed Duke as two years younger than she was, and padded her resume with some false credits.[4] It was Ethel Ross who gave the sweeping name-change order, "Anna Marie is dead, you are Patty now." This would have painful repercussions for Duke in the decades to come. (Her professional name was chosen because the Rosses wanted her to achieve the success of Patty McCormack).[5]

Career

Acting

One of Duke's first acting jobs was on the soap opera The Brighter Day, in the late 1950s. She also appeared in print ads and in television commercials. At the age of twelve, Duke appeared on The $64,000 Question and won $32,000. Three years later, it was revealed that the game show was rigged and she was called to testify before a congressional panel.[6]

Duke's first major role was playing Helen Keller (with Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan) in the Broadway play The Miracle Worker, which ran for nearly two years (October, 1959 - July, 1961). Midway through the production-run, her name was placed above the title on the marquee.

The play was subsequently made into a 1962 film, for which Duke received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At 16, Duke was the youngest person at that time to receive an Academy Award in a competitive category. Duke then appeared with Laurence Olivier and George C. Scott in a TV production of The Power and the Glory (1961). In a 1979 television movie of "The Miracle Worker", Duke played Sullivan.

In 1963, Duke landed her own series The Patty Duke Show, in which she played both main characters: Patty Lane, an American teenager occasionally getting into minor trouble in school and at home; and her 'prim and proper' "identical cousin" from Scotland, Cathy Lane. The show featured co-stars William Schallert as Patty Lane's father, Jean Byron as her mother, Paul O'Keefe as her brother and Eddie Applegate as her boyfriend, Richard. The show had some guest stars such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Paul Lynde, Sal Mineo, and the show appeared on TV for three seasons and earned Duke an Emmy Award nomination.

Despite the success of her career, Duke was deeply unhappy during her teenage years. Efforts were taken by the Rosses to portray her as a normal teenager, but Duke has indicated in her memoirs that she was a virtual prisoner of them and had little control over her own life and earnings. The Rosses kept control over Duke and her mother by allowing them only a small amount of money to survive on. The Rosses also began providing Duke with alcohol and prescription drugs when she was 13, which led to substance abuse problems later on (as an adult, Duke accused both John and Ethel Ross of sexual abuse). Upon turning 18, Duke became free of the Rosses, only to find that they had squandered most of her earnings.

In 1967, with The Patty Duke Show cancelled, Duke attempted to leave her childhood success behind and begin her adult acting career by playing Neely O'Hara in Valley of the Dolls. The film was a box office success, but audiences and critics had a difficult time accepting all-American-teenager Duke as an alcoholic, drug-addicted singing star. While the film has since become a camp classic (due in large part to Duke's over-the-top performance[citation needed]), it almost ruined her career at the time. She won a Golden Globe for Me, Natalie in 1969, which also featured Al Pacino in his screen debut, but the film was a failure at the box office. She finally made a comeback with the 1970 television movie My Sweet Charlie. Her sensitive portrayal of a pregnant teenager on the run won Duke her first Emmy Award, but her infamous acceptance speech was rambling, angry, and disjointed. This led many in the industry to believe she was using drugs. In fact, Duke was suffering from mania, a part of bipolar disorder, which went undiagnosed until 1982.[2]

She received her second Emmy for the TV miniseries, Captains and the Kings in 1977, and her third in 1980 for a TV version of The Miracle Worker in which she played Annie Sullivan to Melissa Gilbert's Helen Keller.

2000s

In 2002, Duke returned to New York to appear as Aunt Eller in a revival of Oklahoma!. She returned again in 2005 to attend a memorial service for her former co-star and actress from The Miracle Worker, Anne Bancroft, who had died of uterine cancer earlier in the year.

On November 2, 2004, it was announced that Duke would undergo single bypass surgery in Idaho, which was successful.

On October 4, 2007, Duke appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, talking about her bipolar disorder to a guest, advising the guest to seek out a support group.

In early 2009, Duke reprised her role(s) as Patty Lane/Cathy Lane in PSAs for The Social Security Administration for retiring online.[7][8]

On March 24, 2009, she replaced Carol Kane as Madame Morrible in the San Francisco production of the musical Wicked. She left the production on February 7, 2010.

On July 20, 2009, Duke was given a tribute in her honor at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco entitled "Sparkle, Patty, Sparkle!" During the evening, Duke met and posed for pictures with over one thousand fans and was interviewed on stage by comic Bruce Vilanch. In addition to showing clips from her long career, Duke's 1967 film Valley of the Dolls was screened at the end of the evening. The event sold out the 1400 seat theater.

Singing

Duke had a successful singing career, including two Top 40 hits in 1965, "Don't Just Stand There" (#8) and "Say Something Funny" (#22). [9] Another successful song was "Dona Dona" in 1968. She performed the second song on The Ed Sullivan Show. Also during 1968, she had appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and after George Jessel's comic appearance, she was introduced and sang an old Irish song, "Danny Boy". She also sang songs on such shows as Shindig!, Kraft Music Hall, The Mike Douglas Show, and The Merv Griffin Show. She had a hit song in her 1965 feature film, Billie, and sang on the soundtrack of the 1966 feature film, The Daydreamer, in which she voiced the character of Thumbelina.

Other achievements

In 1985, Duke was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, the second woman to hold the position (Duke held the job until 1988). That same year she also played the first female President of the United States in the sitcom Hail to the Chief.

She authored two books, one her autobiography, Call Me Anna (ISBN 0-553-27205-5), and Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness (ISBN 0-553-56072-7)

On August 17, 2004, Duke received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the motion picture industry.

In December 2007, Duke was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of North Florida for her work in advancing awareness of mental health issues.[10]

On March 6, 2010, Duke was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Personal life

Duke was married to first husband, director Harry Falk, from 1965 to 1969. During their four year marriage, Duke suffered from her undiagnosed, untreated manic depression. She became anorexic, drank heavily and overdosed a number of times.[11] Their marriage ended in divorce.

In 1970, at the age of 23, Duke had an affair with 17-year old Desi Arnaz, Jr.[11] The relationship became tabloid fodder, due in part to Lucille Ball's vocal opposition to Duke seeing her son. Duke then began dating actor John Astin. In June-July 1970, she had a brief (13 day) marriage to rock promoter Michael Tell, which ended with an annulment.[11] Duke became pregnant and there was media speculation that the child was Arnaz's. Her son Sean was born in February 1971. Duke claimed in her 1987 autobiography that John Astin was Sean's father (and he did adopt him); she later stated she always thought his biological father was Desi Arnaz, Jr.[2] In 1994, Duke's son, Sean Astin had parental testing done, which revealed that his biological father was actually Duke's second husband, Michael Tell.[12][13] Duke had claimed in her autobiography that her marriage to Tell was never consummated.[2]

In 1972, Duke and actor John Astin were married. He adopted her son, Sean, and fathered her second son, Mackenzie, who was born in 1973. Duke and Astin worked together extensively during their marriage. For a time, Duke added 'Astin' to her professional name. The marriage and her children greatly improved her self confidence and her career.

In 1985, Duke and Astin divorced, and in 1986 she married drill sergeant Michael Pearce, whom she met on the set of a TV movie, A Time To Triumph. The couple moved to Idaho and adopted a son together.

Duke has suffered from mental health issues throughout her life. In 1982, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Its treatment, which included lithium as a medication, stabilized Duke's life and put her on the road to recovery. She is the first celebrity to go public with her bipolar disorder diagnosis, and has contributed to the destigmatization of that mental illness. Duke has since become an activist for numerous mental health causes.

Selected filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1958 Country Music Holiday Sis Brand
The Goddess Emily Ann Faulkner, age 8
1959 4D Man Marjorie Sutherland
Happy Anniversary Debbie Walters
1962 The Miracle Worker Helen Keller Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Golden Globe
1965 Billie Billie Carol
1966 The Daydreamer Thumbelina Voice
1967 Think Twentieth Herself Short Subject
Valley of the Dolls Neely O'Hara
1969 Me, Natalie Natalie Miller Golden Globe for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1970 My Sweet Charlie Marlene Chambers Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1972 You'll Like My Mother Francesca Kinsolving
1978 The Swarm Rita
1982 By Design Helen
1986 Willy/Milly Doris Niceman Alternative titles: I Was a Teenage Boy
Something Special
1992 Prelude to a Kiss Mrs. Boyle
1999 Kimberly Dr. Feinstenberger Alternative title: Daddy Who?
2005 Bigger Than the Sky Mrs. Keene/Earlene
2008 The Four Children of Tander Welch Susan Metler
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1963-1966 The Patty Duke Show Patty Lane/Cathy Lane 104 episodes
Nominated - Emmy Award; Nominated - Golden Globe
1976 Captains and the Kings Bernadette Hennessey Armagh Miniseries
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1979 Before and After Carole Matthews Television movie
The Miracle Worker Annie Sullivan Television movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1980 The Babysitter Liz Benedict Television movie
1981 The Violation of Sarah McDavid Sarah McDavid Television movie
1982 It Takes Two Molly Quinn Television series
1985 Hail To The Chief President Julia Mansfield Television series
1987 Fight for Life Shirley Abrams Television movie
1987 Karen's Song Karen Matthews Television series
1991 A Killer Among Friends Jean Monroe Television movie
1998 The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights Patty Lane/Cathy Lane MacAllister Television movie
1998-2003 Touched by an Angel Jean 3 episodes
1999 A Season for Miracles Angel Television movie
2004 Judging Amy Valerie Bing 1 episode
2006 Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door Bridget Connelly Television movie
2009 Love Finds a Home Mary Watson Television movie

Discography

Albums

  • Don't Just Stand There -- United Artists UAL 3452 (Mono)/UAS 6452 (Stereo) -- 1965
  • Patty -- United Artists UAL 3492/UAS 6492 -- 1965
  • Patty Duke's Greatest Hits -- United Artists UAL 3535/UAS 6535 -- 1966
  • TV's Teen Star -- Unart M 20005 (Mono)/S 21005 (Stereo) -- 1967
  • Songs from Valley of The Dolls and Other Selections -- United Artists UAL 3623/UAS 6623 -- 1967

References

  1. ^ Patty Duke Biography (1946-)
  2. ^ a b c d e Duke, Patty; Kennen Turan (1987). Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. Bantam Books. pp. 8. ISBN 0553272055. 
  3. ^ Pattie 'Duke' Pierce
  4. ^ TV Preview: Patty Duke pairs off again as 'Identical cousins'
  5. ^ Biography
  6. ^ "The Quiz Show Scandal: Program Transcript". pbs.org. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/quizshow/filmmore/transcript/index.html. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Public Service Announcements for Television". Press Office, Social Security Administration. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/psa-video.html. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Social Security Videos". Press Office, Social Security Administration. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/psa-video-all.htm. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Don't Just Stand There". Songfacts.com. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=18158. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  10. ^ Duke Awarded Honorary Degree/Senior Recognized for Service. Press Release For: December 06, 2007. University of North Florida.
  11. ^ a b c Lipton, Michael A. (May 3, 1999). "Duke of Hazards; Having Survived a Hellish Youth and Manic Depression, Patty Duke Relishes Her Rustic Life Down on the Farm". People Magazine 51 (16). http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20128097,00.html. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  12. ^ "'I don't want to play the fat guy or the friend all my life' (interiew with Sean Astin)". The Guardian. December 19, 2003. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2003/dec/19/lordoftherings.features. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Local Publisher's Son in Spotlight". Las Vegas Review Journal. February 29, 2004. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Feb-29-Sun-2004/news/23327549.html. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 

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