She was the star of sitcom “The Patty Duke Show,” portraying identical cousins, and was mother of “Lord of the Rings” actor Sean Astin
Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Patty Duke has died at the age of 69, TheWrap has learned.
The cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine.
“She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed,” said her manager in a statement.
Duke started her career as a child actress on the daytime soap opera “The Brighter Day,” and ion 1963, she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “The Miracle Worker” when she was just 16, becoming the youngest Oscar winner at the time. Her win for that role still secures her status as the third-youngest Oscar winner in history; trailing Tatum O’Neal and Anna Paquin.
Later in 1963 she was given her own TV show, “The Patty Duke Show,” which was created for her. She played identical cousins, the fun-loving Patty and the prim and proper Cathy. The show ran for three seasons.
Duke then transitioned to adult roles by starring in “Valley of the Dolls,” which has become a cult classic. In 1970 she returned to television with “My Sweet Charlie,” which won her her first Emmy award.
Her second Emmy win came in 1977 with the miniseries “Captains and the Kings.” Her third win was for the 1980 remake of “The Miracle Worker,” with Duke in the role of Anne Sullivan rather than Helen Keller.
Duke continued acting steadily into the 2000s, and has appeared on shows such as “Hawaii Five-O” and “Glee.”
The actress revealed in her autobiography that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, and has been an advocate for mental health.
Duke was also relatively active on social media, her last tweet regarding her 30th wedding anniversary with her husband, Mike Pearce.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis is “the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.” In Duke’s case, an intestinal rupture — a hole in “the wall of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large bowel, rectum, or gallbladder,” according to the National Institute of Health’s MedLine — leaked intestinal contents into the bloodstream, leading to the cascade of infection, and response to infection, that took her life.