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IN MEMORIAM | Patty Duke

Culture Digest


Oscar - and Emmy - winning actress Patty Duke passed away this week at the age of 69. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Oscar - and Emmy - winning actress Patty Duke passed away this week at the age of 69.

Anna Marie "Patty" Duke, the legendary actress who has been a North Idaho resident since the late 1980s,passed away at age 69 on Tuesday from sepsis due to a ruptured intestine.

Duke was a superstar in Hollywood before reaching adulthood. First, she won accolades for her stage portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker on Broadway, a role she reprised for the film adaptation, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1962. From there, Duke went on to star in her own sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, in which she played two identical cousins. In the course of her television career, Duke won three Emmys and was nominated for eight others.

After marrying Michael Pearce in 1986, the couple moved to Hayden, Idaho. Although Duke continued to work in television and film, she also appeared in local theatrical productions.

"What's different for me now — one of the few positives of aging — is that you do get a certain kind of perspective on what really matters," Duke told the Inlander in 1999 when she appeared in a Spokane Civic Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie. As late as 2014, Duke was cast in a Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre production of My Fair Lady, but had to drop out of the play due to illness.

In addition to acting, Duke — who was open about her battle with bipolar disorder — was a proponent for mental health awareness. She also took joy in mentoring young actors in the region, as she recalled in a 2013 Inlander story when she was starring in a production of The Giver.

"It's probably the old lady in me that says, 'I must pass on something.' It has to do with what I'm leaving behind. To my grandchildren, my children, or someone I've never even met."

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