Sunday, April 10, 2016

243.4 - RIP: Patty Duke

RIP: Patty Duke

We have an RIP this week. These are becoming depressingly common.

Patty Duke died on March 29 at the age of 69. My gosh, another 69-year-old. The cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured tumor in her intestine.

Anna Marie "Patty" Duke
I expect Patty Duke, born Anna Marie Duke, is best known for two things: her Oscar-winning role as Helen Keller in the original "The Miracle Worker" and her TV sitcom, "The Patty Duke Show," which ran for three seasons in the early 1960s.

But she was a good deal more. For one thing, she won three Emmys. But beyond that, she was actively involved in the world beyond the screen. For example, at one time she was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

After she was diagnosed as bipolar in 1982, a condition perhaps the result of the serious emotional abuse she suffered as a child, Duke became an advocate for mental health programs and a while back seriously considered a run for public office only to be dissuaded in the face of the difficulty of a liberal Democrat being elected in Idaho, where she and her husband of nearly 30 years, Michael Pearce, lived.

Her last public appearance of sorts, interestingly, was just a week before her death when she and her husband turned out to participate in the Idaho Democratic caucuses.

RIP, Patty Duke. It seems we didn't know you as well as we should have.

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