Patty Duke

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour Archive interview, Anna Marie "Patty" Duke (1946-2016) discusses her early start in the entertainment industry. She talks about her strict and abusive managers, John and Ethel Ross, and speaks of her early work in commercials. Duke recalls getting cast as "Helen Keller" in the Broadway play "The Miracle Worker," opposite Anne Bancroft, and tells how that led to the film version of the play, for which Duke won an Academy Award. She then details her dual roles as "Cathy" and "Patty" on The Patty Duke Show, and talks of the show's cast and creators. She discusses getting diagnosed with manic depression, writing her book "Call Me Anna," and becoming a mental health advocate. Duke also recalls her work in the television movies My Sweet Charlie and Curse of the Black Widow, and comments on playing "Anne Sullivan" opposite Melissa Gilbert's "Helen Keller" in a TV remake of The Miracle Worker. She chronicles her time as President of SAG, and speaks of her guest appearances on several series, including Touched By An Angel, The Torkelsons, and Glee. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on December 8, 2013 in Coeur d'Alene, ID.

"You know sometimes when you act, you work through some things as if you would in a therapy session."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Patty Duke on when and why her name was changed to Patty Duke
Patty Duke on how she got cast in the Broadway play "The Miracle Worker"
Patty Duke on how her managers gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying during the Quiz Show Scandals
Patty Duke on enjoying playing "Cathy" more than "Patty" on The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the reaction to her book "Call me Anna" and going public with her manic depression
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on growing up in New York City and her father's early death; on wanting to be a nun as a child
On her managers, John and Ethel Ross; on living with her managers and her start in live television at seven years old
On her first professional jobs and commercials; on how her managers prepared her for auditions and gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying during the Quiz Show Scandals
On how she got cast in the Broadway play "The Miracle Worker"
On when and why her name was changed to Patty Duke; on acting in the play "The Miracle Worker"; on meeting Helen Keller; on the physicality of performing in the play
On working with Anne Bancroft; on the success of "The Miracle Worker" and her managers becoming more controlling
On making the film version of "The Miracle Worker"; on differences between the stage and film versions; on winning an Oscar for her role
On acting with Laurence Olivier in Power and the Glory
On the origins of The Patty Duke Show; on the challenges of playing two characters

Chapter 2

On the technical aspects of playing identical cousins on The Patty Duke Show; on child labor laws in New York; on how characters evolved over the course of the show
On the popularity of The Patty Duke Show; on her managers coaching her behavior; on the merchandising on The Patty Duke Show (including making records)
On the atmosphere on the set of The Patty Duke Show; on the cast and crew on the show
On firing her managers; on meeting and marrying John Astin; on working with Richard Crenna on It Takes Two and getting diagnosed with manic depression; on the industry's reaction to her diagnosis and her guest appearance on Glee
On performing in regional theater in Idaho; on her current marriage
On her book "Call Me Anna" and going public with her manic depression; on being an advocate for those suffering from mental illnesses; on playing herself in the TV movie of Call Me Anna
On favorite memories from The Patty Duke Show; on the 1999 reunion movie of The Patty Duke Show
On her appearances on talk shows; on the 1970 TV movie My Sweet Charlie and winning her first Emmy for her role; on the miniseries Captains and the Kings and the TV movie Curse of the Black Widow

Chapter 3

On being interviewed by Hugh Downs; on her former manager Ethel Ross' death
On the TV movies A Family Upside Down and Having Babies III
On playing "Anne Sullivan" in the TV movie of The Miracle Worker; on TV movies in which she appeared in the 1980s; on acting with her son, Sean Astin, and both of her sons going into acting
On playing "Martha Washington" in the miniseries George Washington; on meeting her current husband while starring in A Time to Triumph
On becoming President of the Screen Actors Guild; on the SAG-AFTRA merger; on guest appearances on Touched By An Angel, The Torkelsons, and Amazing Grace; on how the remake of the TV movie of The Miracle Worker ended
On her acting process and where she keeps her awards; on the longevity of her career; on her guest appearance on Glee; on her opinion on fame and getting recognized
On advice to an aspiring actor; on career regrets and how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

$64,000 Question

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Patty Duke on how her managers gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying during the Quiz Show Scandals
Patty Duke on what it was like competing live on the $64,000 Challenge

Academy Awards, The

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Patty Duke on winning an Oscar for her role in "The Miracle Worker"

Brighter Day, The

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Patty Duke on acting in The Brighter Day with Hal Holbrook

Captains and the Kings

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Patty Duke on acting in and winning an Emmy for the TV miniseries Captains and the Kings

Dick Cavett Show, The

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Patty Duke on appearing on The Dick Cavett Show

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Patty Duke on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Patty Duke on winning an Emmy for her role in the 1970 TV movie My Sweet Charlie; on accepting her award while having a manic episode

Facts of Life, The

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Patty Duke on her son, Mackenzie Astin appearing in The Facts of Life as a kid and his talent as an actor

George Washington

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Patty Duke on playing "Martha Washington" in the miniseries George Washington

Glee

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Patty Duke on appearing on Glee
Patty Duke on her guest appearance on Glee

I Love Lucy

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Patty Duke on copying a famous scene from I Love Lucy on The Patty Duke Show

Insight

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Patty Duke on appearing on Insight

It Takes Two

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Patty Duke on working with Richard Crenna on It Takes Two and getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Miracle Worker, The

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Patty Duke on playing "Anne Sullivan" in the TV movie of The Miracle Worker opposite Melissa Gilbert as "Helen Keller"
Patty Duke on playing "Anne Sullivan" in the TV movie of The Miracle Worker opposite Melissa Gilbert as "Helen Keller"

My Sweet Charlie

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Patty Duke on the 1970 TV movie My Sweet Charlie and winning her first Emmy for her role; on accepting her award while having a manic episode

Patty Duke Show, The

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Patty Duke on the origins of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the premise of The Patty Duke Show and "Cathy" being her favorite
Patty Duke on the identical cousins on The Patty Duke Show representing both sides of her real personality and the "Patty" character having a much more average childhood than she had
Patty Duke on the challenges of playing two characters on The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on copying a famous scene from I Love Lucy on The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the technical aspects of playing two characters on The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the technical aspects of playing identical cousins on The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on initially filming The Patty Duke Show in New York because of child labor laws
Patty Duke on how the characters evolved over the course of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the popularity of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on not being allowed to watch The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on what fans of The Patty Duke Show said/say to her
Patty Duke on the merchandising on The Patty Duke Show (including making records)
Patty Duke on the atmosphere on the set of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the cast of The Patty Duke Show - Jean Byron
Patty Duke on the cast of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on working with the directors on The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on her managers' involvement with The Patty Duke Show and firing her managers when she turned eighteen
Patty Duke on favorite memories from The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on fans of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the theme song The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on the 1999 reunion movie of The Patty Duke Show

Power and the Glory, The

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Patty Duke on acting with Laurence Olivier in The Power and the Glory

Torkelsons, The

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Patty Duke on appearing with William Schallert on The Torkelsons

Touched By an Angel

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Patty Duke on appearing on Touched By an Angel
Topics

Advice

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Patty Duke on advice to an aspiring actor

Emmy Awards

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Patty Duke on winning an Emmy for her role in the 1970 TV movie My Sweet Charlie

Fame and Celebrity

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Patty Duke on what fans of The Patty Duke Show said/say to her
Patty Duke on her opinion on fame and getting recognized

Industry Crossroads

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Patty Duke on how her managers gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying before Congress during the Quiz Show Scandals

Quiz Show Scandals

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Patty Duke on how her managers gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying before Congress during the Quiz Show Scandals

Television Industry

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Patty Duke on how her managers gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying before Congress during the Quiz Show Scandals
Patty Duke on what fans of The Patty Duke Show said/say to her
Patty Duke on her opinion on fame and getting recognized
Patty Duke on advice to an aspiring actor
Professions

Actress

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Patty Duke on how her acting process has evolved over the years
Patty Duke on advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

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Patty Duke on how her acting process has evolved over the years
Patty Duke on advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Comedy Series

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Patty Duke on the origins and premise of The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke on acting on The Patty Duke Show

Commercials

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Patty Duke on commercials in which she acted as a child

Game Shows

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Patty Duke on how her managers gave her the answers for the $64,000 Challenge; on testifying during the Quiz Show Scandals

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Patty Duke on playing "Anne Sullivan" in the TV movie of The Miracle Worker opposite Melissa Gilbert as "Helen Keller"
People

William Asher

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Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show director Bill Asher

John Astin

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Patty Duke on meeting and marrying John Astin

Sean Astin

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Patty Duke on working with her son, Sean Astin, in Please Don't Hit Me, Mom
Patty Duke on working with her son, actor Sean Astin
Patty Duke on working with her son, actor Sean Astin, in several TV movies

Meredith Baxter-Birney

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Patty Duke on her guest appearance on Glee and working with Meredith Baxter-Birney

Richard Crenna

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Patty Duke on working with Richard Crenna on It Takes Two

Hugh Downs

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Patty Duke on being interviewed by Hugh Downs and talking about her Emmy acceptance speech

Al Freeman, Jr.

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Patty Duke on the 1970 TV movie My Sweet Charlie  

Melissa Gilbert

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Patty Duke on playing "Anne Sullivan" in the TV movie of The Miracle Worker opposite Melissa Gilbert as "Helen Keller"
Patty Duke on Melissa Gilbert becoming President of the Screen Actors Guild

Helen Hayes

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Patty Duke on she and Helen Hayes getting nervous before performances

Hal Holbrook

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Patty Duke on acting in The Brighter Day with Hal Holbrook

Larry King

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Patty Duke on enjoying appearing on Larry King's show

Patty McCormack

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Patty Duke on why her name was changed to Patty Duke

Paul O'Keefe

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Patty Duke on the cast of The Patty Duke Show - Paul O'Keefe

Laurence Olivier

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Patty Duke on acting with Laurence Olivier in Power and the Glory

Arthur Penn

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Patty Duke on how she got cast in the Broadway play "The Miracle Worker" - directed by Arthur Penn

Suzanne Pleshette

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Patty Duke on Suzanne Pleshette replacing Anne Bancroft as "Anne Sullivan" in Broadway version of "The Miracle Worker"

William Schallert

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Patty Duke on what William Schallert brought to the set of The Patty Duke Show

Sidney Sheldon

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Patty Duke on the origins of The Patty Duke Show and the invention of the identical cousins
Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show creator Sidney Sheldon

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