Son Sean Astin gives moving tribute.
Patty Duke has passed away in hospital at the age of 69, according to her manager and a recent statement issued by her son Sean Astin. The Oscar winning actress was a long-term television favourite and a strong advocate for education surrounding mental health issues.
Patty Duke has died in hospital
'The Patty Duke Show' died yesterday (March 30th 2016) in a Coeur D'Alene, Idaho hospital from sepsis caused by a ruptured intestine. The cause of death was confirmed to the LA Times by Duke's manager Holly Shelton, and a further statement acknowledging her sad passing was issued on Facebook by her son, 'The Lord of the Rings' star Sean Astin.
'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', he wrote. 'We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life.' He also added a link to a crowdfunding page for his new intitiative, 'The Patty Duke Mental Health Project', adding that 'Her work endures...'.
During her career, Patty Duke did a lot of work to raise awareness of mental illness, herself having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982 and having been through a troubled childhood with her alcoholic father, her clinically depressed mother and, ultimately, her exploitative talent managers John and Ethel Ross. Then there was her frequently disrupted love life, dating and sometimes marrying the likes of Harry Falk, Desi Arnaz Jr., John Astin and Michael Tell. She detailed her struggles in her 1987 autobiography 'Call Me Anna', and elaborated with 1992's 'Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness'.
In fact, she was the first celebrity to publically confess that she had bipolar and went on to do much work with the National Institute of Mental Health and National Alliance on Mental Illness. She also appeared on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' to discuss her troubles.
As well as her important humanitarian work, she won an Academy Award at the age of just 16 for her role as Helen Keller in 'The Miracle Worker', and she also went on to win two Golden Globes and three Primetime Emmys for her television work in shows such as 'The Patty Duke Show'.
Patty Duke leaves behind three sons (Sean, Mackenzie and adopted son Kevin), three grandchildren by Sean (Alexandra, Elizabeth and Isabella) and her husband drill sergeant Michael Pearce.