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Child Star Patty Duke Dies at 69

29 March 2016

Patty Duke, the Oscar-winning actress renowned as a child star of stage, film and television, who, amid public struggles with bipolar disorder, went on to cultivate a respected career in adulthood as an actress and mental-health advocate, died on Tuesday 29 March, 2016, at a hospital near her home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She was 69.

The cause was complications of a ruptured intestine that Ms. Duke suffered on Thursday, said her husband, Michael Pearce.

Patty came to wide attention with the debut of The Patty Duke Show, the popular ABC sitcom in which she played the dual roles of Patty Lane, an unaffected Brooklyn girl, and her worldly, British-accented ‘identical cousin’, Cathy Lane.

Broadcast on ABC, the show ran from 1963 to 1965 for 104 episodes, and also starred William Schallert as Patty’s father.

Homey, comforting and sentimental, the show, with its emblematic theme song (“Where Cathy adores a minuet/The Ballets Russes, and crêpes Suzette/Our Patty loves to rock and roll/A hot dog makes her lose control/ What a wild duet!”) remains a touchstone of American nostalgia.