Sad news for fans of lifelong actor, Emmy and Oscar-winner Patty Duke, as the stage and screen actor behind The Miracle Worker, The Patty Duke Show and so much more has passed away. The acclaimed star and mother to Sean Astin is remembered as one of the Academy’s youngest winners, as well a staunch advocate for the mentally ill with the National Institute of Mental Health and others.

Astin himself confirmed Duke’s (real name: Anna Pearce) Tuesday death over Facebook, while additional reports elaborate that the actress died of sepsis, following a ruptured intestine. Duke is survived by fourth husband Michael Pearce, as well as children Sean Astin, Mackenzie Astin, and Kevin Pearce, with Sean writing:

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.

Her work endures…
The Patty Duke Mental Health Project

In addition to the 1963 Patty Duke Show, Duke starred in the original Miracle Worker as Helen Keller by the age of 16, subsequent career years taking her everywhere from Valley of the Dolls to Police Story.

Best thoughts to the family, and all those remembering Patty Duke’s work.

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