Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Requiescat in pace, Patty Duke 1946 - 2016

Her name was Anna.  She was a star on Broadway while still a child in a role so deep and emotional, and so transparently played, it would always be identified with her.  She will always be young, defiant, touching, Helen Keller.

She won an Oscar at 16 for playing that same role in a feature film.  She won an Emmy for a made for TV movie playing "the other role" in that movie - Annie Sullivan.

Her work in numerous TV shows, including a show of her own when she was still a teenager, will always mark her as one of the greatest actresses of her generation.

Someday I would like to write more in depth on The Miracle Worker and some of her other roles.  For now, we must say goodbye.  Bless you, Anna.


Caftan Woman said...

My husband shared the news when I returned from running errands. He generally treats the passing of a celebrity in an offhand manner, but this one was different. He was genuinely choked up and when my reaction was "No. Not Anna.", he had to leave the room quickly.

Some people touch you with their life and their work.

grandoldmovies said...

Such a beautiful remembrance. I look forward to reading your future post on this great actress. Thank you.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

CW, my reaction was the same. I was told by my sister over the phone. It's like the passing of a relative. She was special.

Thank you, GOM. I imagine there will be many tributes to this actress. Born in 1946, she was a true Baby Boomer, and I suppose our generation will be particularly sentimental over this sister who was with us through every phase of our lives.

Yvette said...

I can't help but think that Patty Duke - as brilliant as she was - should have had a larger career. Know what I mean, Jacqueline?

It's possible she got bad advice somewhere along the way. Who knows. Or it might just have been that being a woman AND a genius ain't easy in Hollywood.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Yvette, it's true she did not have a larger career in feature films, and that could have been due to her personal problems back in the day. However, I think she's a great example of a "working actress." She did regional theatre, lots of TV, had a couple of series of her own, and did so many guest spots and starred in so many made for TV movies, I don't know if she could count them. She wasn't a prima donna, she was a worker -- but one with star ability and star quality.

I remember when she played Martha Washington in that miniseries back in the 1980s. Jacklyn Smith was also in that miniseries -- flush at the height of her fame coming off CHARLIE'S ANGELS. One TV critic -- and I can't remember his exact words -- remarked how even though Smith was lovely, it was Patty Duke who drew our attention, the one we couldn't keep our eyes off, and he rejoiced that here was a real actress.

Silver Screenings said...

Yes, it was quite a sad shock to hear that she died.

I like what you said in the previous comment about her being a "worker" but having star quality. That she was.

A lovely tribute!

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thank you, Ruth. I know she will be lovingly remembered.

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