The Patty Duke Show Star Patty Duke Dead at 69

Patty Duke Dead

Patty Duke, who became synonymous with chipper teenhood as the star of The Patty Duke Show, has died. She was 69.

Duke, whose real name was Anna Pearce, is best known for playing the dual roles of Patty and Cathy on her eponymous ABC sitcom, which ran from 1963-66.

ABC News reports that the actress died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.

“This morning, our beloved mother, wife, 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,” her family said in a statement. “We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life.”

Duke was a child actress whose portrayal of Helen Keller in the film The Miracle Worker, a part she’d originated on Broadway, won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. (She later played Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, in the 1979 TV-movie adaptation.) In addition to her identical cousin comedy series, other notable TV gigs included It Takes TwoKaren’s Song, Amazing Grace and Hail to the Chief — in which she played the first female president of the United States.

In recent years, Duke’s TV appearances included a Season 4 episode of Glee, as a lesbian jeweler who helps Blaine to pick out an engagement ring for Kurt, and a meta guest-starring role on Disney Channel’s twin sisters comedy Liv and Maddie, playing Grandma Janice and her lookalike Great-Aunt Hillary.

Duke is survived by her husband, Michael Pearce, and children Sean Astin, Mackenzie Astin and Kevin Pearce.

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