Patty Duke


Patty Duke was an American actress, singer, and author who rose to fame in the 1960s. She was born on December 14, 1946, in Elmhurst, New York, and passed away on March 29, 2016. She had a successful career in film, television, and theater and was a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

Early Life and Career

Patty Duke

Childhood and Family

Patty Duke was born Anna Marie Duke to John Patrick Duke and Frances Margaret McMahon. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother suffered from clinical depression, which led to a tumultuous childhood for Patty. She was discovered by talent scouts at the age of eight and was cast in the Broadway play, The Miracle Worker, which launched her career.

Acting Career

Patty Duke’s breakout role was in the film adaptation of The Miracle Worker, in which she played Helen Keller. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film. She went on to star in her own television show, The Patty Duke Show, which ran from 1963 to 1966. She also appeared in numerous other films and television shows throughout her career, including Valley of the Dolls, My Sweet Charlie, and The Streets of San Francisco.

Personal Life

Marriages and Children

Patty Duke was married four times and had three children. She was first married to Harry Falk, a director, in 1965, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1969. She then married Michael Tell, but the marriage was annulled after 13 days. She was then married to John Astin, an actor, from 1972 to 1985, and they had two sons together. She was later married to Michael Pearce, a drill sergeant, from 1986 until her death in 2016.

Health Issues

Patty Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982 and became an advocate for mental health awareness. She wrote a memoir about her struggles with the disorder, titled A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness. She also served as the president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness from 1998 to 1999.

Net Worth and Legacy

Net Worth

Patty Duke’s net worth at the time of her death was estimated to be $5 million. She earned her wealth through her successful acting career in film, television, and theater.


Patty Duke was a trailblazer in the entertainment industry and paved the way for future generations of actors. She was an advocate for mental health awareness and worked to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Her legacy lives on through her work in film, television, and theater, as well as through her advocacy for mental health.

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