Patty Duke, 1960’s Teenage Role Model

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Nostalgia reigns in many households today as we remember Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe Winner Anna Patty Duke Pearce, more commonly known simply as “Patty Duke.”  Surrounded by family, Ms. Duke lost her battle to complications from a ruptured intestine on March 29, 2016.  She was 69 years old.

The Patty Duke Show was a mid-60’s television hit series for young girls and their families as they joined in the teenage capers of identical twin cousins both played by Ms. Duke who lived in Brooklyn Heights, New York.  (Also see:  “Lack of Female Role Models in Family-Friendly Media?”) “The Miracle Worker” won Ms. Duke an Oscar for the teenage role she played about the story of Helen Keller. (Also see: “#Bosnian First Graders #Sign Love & Acceptance”)


As a young woman Patty Duke suffered from a disconnected childhood, an un-diagnosed bipolar disorder condition, and substance abuse which was contributed by her talent managers who did find her work on soap operas and print advertising.  However, Patty Duke later went on to become a mental health champion.


“In her 1988 memoir, Call Me Anna, Duke wrote of her condition and its diagnosis only six years earlier, and of the treatment that subsequently stabilized her life. The book became a 1990 TV film in which she starred, and she became an activist for mental health causes, helping to de-stigmatize bipolar disorder.” (See: “Actress Patty Duke Dead at 69”)

Just two weeks ago, Patty Duke celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary and left her last message on a Twitter Account:

Patty Duke Verified account ‏@pattyduke_id
30 years ago today, Mike and I married. We having a very happy and quiet day. Love and hugs to all

My personal tweet to Patty today: Tks 4 the laughs & making teenage years easy. RIP @DiplomaticallyX

For more stories, see:
Diplomat Artist Cultural Diplomacy archives  and Diplomat Artist Global Citizen archives.



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