Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Remembering Actress Patty Duke... "To Everything there is a Season..."

I know we were all saddened to hear of the sudden, recent passing of actress Patty Duke, on Tuesday March 29th at the age of 69. She was wife, mother, and actress on stage, television, and film.

- Actress Patty Duke -

Patty was born Anna Marie Duke on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York, to Frances and John Brock Duke. At the age of 8, her mother sent her to live with talent managers, who changed her name to Patty, hoping for success.

Patty will best be remembered from The Patty Duke show, which aired from 1963-66, where she portrayed the roles of identical cousins. Her rise to fame and notoriety first came when at 16 she played the role of Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker". She received an Academy Award in 1960 for Best Supporting Actress for her amazing portrayal.

At her passing, Patty was married to Michael Pierce for nearly twenty years. She had three sons, Sean Astin, Mackenzie Astin, and Kevin Pearce.

Patty Duke pictured with her two actor sons Mackenzie and Sean Astin

Patty Duke portrayed countless roles on TV shows & movies... including: The Virginian, Valley of the Dolls, Two on a Bench, Hawaii Five-O, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Streets of San Francisco, Captains and the Kings (Mini-Series), The Miracle Worker (TV Movie portraying Ann Sullivan this time as Melissa Gilbert portrayed Helen), The Babysitter, It Takes Two, George Washington (Mini-Series), The Love Boat, Perry Mason, Prelude to a Kiss, One Woman's Courage, Cries from the Heart, Harvest of Fire, Frasier, A Christmas Memory, and many more... plus she won 3 Emmys for her roles on the TV series Touched by an Angel!

Hallmark movie watchers have also been blessed to see Patty Duke in a number of Hallmark made-for-television movies, including the Hallmark Hall of Fame film "A Season for Miracles" in which she portrays, so poignantly now, an angel.

Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie: A Season for Miracles

Patty Duke also starred in the fun Hallmark Channel movie "Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door" with Patrick Duffy, Shelley Long, and Bruce Boxleitner, as well as one of the Pioneer Series "Love Comes Softly" films "Love Finds a Home". Ironically her actor son Mackenzie, had a role in the second film from the series "Love's Enduring Promise" and her eldest son Sean, also an actor, had a role in the last film of that series (so far)... "Love's Christmas Journey".

Actress Patty Duke in Hallmark's "Love Finds a Home"

Patty also worked with her son Sean in 2012 on the faith based film, "Amazing Love", which is a touching story of the Old Testament prophet Hosea.

Following Patty Duke's passing her family released this statement, "This morning, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch and the exquisite artist, humanitarian, and champion for mental health, Anna PATTY DUKE Pearce, closed her eyes, quieted her pain and ascended to a beautiful place."

"We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life. I love you mom" added Sean Astin.

Our prayers go out now to her dear family and friends, as they enter this new season without their beloved Anna "Patty" Duke.

Patty Duke, image via Hallmark Crown Media

"To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 (KJV)


  1. "But they're Cousins. Identical Cousins all the way. One pair of matching bookends. Different as night and day. Still they're Cousins..." All these heart touching memories lately.

  2. I always enjoyed watching Patty Duke. She was a wonderful actress and showed such sincerity in her roles. Thank you for this tribute~

  3. ....and another one has been called home. Such a talented, loving , feisty, little lady that surely will be missed by many!! Who didn't love "The Patty Duke Show" being a teen in the early sixties? Her rolls in both "Miracle Worker" films were brilliant!! "A Season For Miracles" is one of my favorite Christmas Movies and was so looking forward to seeing her in future Hallmark shows. Rest in glory....prayers and peace to her family!!


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