When we lose someone we lose a bit of ourselves, when we lose someone like Patty Duke we lose a little bit of Old Hollywood. In the past few years a bevy of classic film and television stars. Its a loss to the world of cinema and those of us who admired their work.
I started watching classic television shows on my own by the age of nine. Thanks to the channel Nickelodeon and other various channels I had my choice of 1950's-1970's shows to enjoy while growing up in the 1980's. I watched Leave to Beaver, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, Lassie, The Odd Couple, Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, and so many more. One in particular that I enjoyed was a show called The Patty Duke Show. I was memorized by her talent and not to mention that the show was so much fun to watch.
As the years went on I saw more of Patty Duke's films and then I learned of her battle with mental illness. After she wrote her autobiography. Call Me Anna, my respect and admiration for her grew in leaps and bounds. Here I was struggling with my own disability, quietly and in many ways I was alone in my own suffering. So for me to see someone of her status come clean so to speak about herself in that way just really inspired me. I looked up to her even more since then.
Back in 2013 I attended an event called Chiller Theater. I try and attend once a year because you get to meet a lot of film stars from yesteryear and you all know how much I love that stuff. I knew Patty Duke was going to be there and she was on the top of my list of people I hoped to meet. And meet I did! My daughter was five at the time and we went on the line to meet her. Patty and her husband were so kind to me and my daughter, its something I will never forget. You can read more about it HERE.
Patty Duke was a special one-of-a-kind lady. If you have never watched any of her work I hope you will one day. Not only was she a master at her craft but someone who helped shed the light on mental illness. The world is better because she was in it.
A Vintage Nerd Supplementary Reading: