Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke dead

Los Angeles, March 30 (IANS) Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke, known for her portrayal of Helen Keller in 1962 film “The Miracle Worker”, is dead. She was 69.

Duke, who starred in 1960s sitcom “The Patty Duke Show” and served as president of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, died on early Tuesday of sepsis from a ruptured intestine, said her manager Mitchell Stubbs, reports variety.com.

“She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed,” Stubbs said.

Duke’s life took various dramatic turns: As a child actress, she was exploited by her managers and became a young Oscar winner and then a wholesome TV star, followed by struggles with drug addiction and mental illness, and eventual stability as head of SAG and a mental health advocate.

Born as Anna Duke, she was married four times — to director Harry Falk, Michael Tell (their brief marriage was annulled), actor John Astin and Michael Pearce — and had relationships with men including Desi Arnaz Jr.

Tell was the biological father of her son, Sean Astin, who has appeared in films including “Goonies” and the “Lord of the Rings” movies.

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