Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke dies at 69

Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke has died, her agent confirmed Tuesday. She was 69.

Duke won an Academy Award at the age of 16 for her role in The Miracle Worker.  Later, she starred in the sitcom, The Patty Duke Show. 

Duke’s agent confirmed her death to the Associated Press saying she died early Tuesday morning of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She died in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, according to Teri Weigel, the publicist for her son, actor Sean Astin.

Duke, born Anna Marie Pearce, followed on her early success playing the young Helen Keller with a popular sitcom, "The Patty Duke Show," which aired in the mid-1960s. She played dual roles under a then-unconventional premise: identical twins living in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.

Duke was also an outspoken advocate for mental health. She was diagnosed as bipolar in 1982 after years of battling mental illness.

Duke celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary two weeks ago and tweeted about the occasion. It was her last message to fans via her verified Twitter account.

 

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