1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 6 (USA)
104 x 30 minute episodes
16-year-old Patty Lane (Patty Duke) lived at 8 Remsen Drive in Brooklyn Heights with her father, Martin (William Schallert), who was the managing editor of the New York Chronicle; her mother, Natalie (Jean Byron); brother Ross (Paul O’Keefe), and her glamorous identical European cousin, Cathy (also played by Patty Duke). The family dog was named Tiger.
Patty and Cathy attended Brooklyn Heights High School and were sophomores when the series began. Patty was the editor of the school newspaper, The Bugle and even wrote a book I Was a Teenage Teenager (“love, war, poverty, death and cooking recipes”). Patty also worked after school (as Pittsburgh Patty), a waitress at a coffee house called the Pink Percolator.
Her boyfriend, Richard Harrison (Eddie Applegate), was always becoming involved in her crazy misadventures. Patty had a rival for Richard’s affections in Sue Ellen Turner (Kitty Sullivan).
Cathy (full name Catherine Margaret Rollin Lane) lived previously in Glasgow, Scotland. Her widowed father, Kenneth Lane – Martin’s identical brother (also played by William Schallert) – was a foreign correspondent for the Chronicle whose assignments constantly uprooted Cathy (who he called “Kit Kat”).
Thus Kenneth arranged with Martin to let Cathy live with him and his family in Brooklyn while she completed her high school education.
Cathy was not as outgoing as Patty and much more applied to her studies she was an “A” student while Patty maintained a “C” average).
Being more serious-minded, Cathy did not have a steady boyfriend but occasionally dated some of the more studious students at school. Cathy got hiccups whenever she attempted to lie.
Patty Duke also played Betsy Lane, Patty’s lookalike Southern belle cousin from Atlanta, who Patty called a “Confederate Cleopatra (for trying to steal Richard).
Ross Lane attended PS 8 grammar school and enjoyed building model aeroplanes. He often made extra money to supplement his 50 cents a week allowance by helping either Patty or Cathy when they were at odds and needed to know what the other was doing.
The ABC show became popular with young viewers and remained on the air for three successive seasons. Guest stars during that time included Sammy Davis Jr., Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vinton, Sal Mineo, Troy Donahue, Robert Goulet, Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde and Frank Sinatra Jr.
By the time The Patty Duke Show ended its run, Patty was a young woman and soon became one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood, appearing in such films as Valley Of The Dolls (1967), Me, Natalie (1969) and Two On A Bench (1971), and in many made-for-TV movies and miniseries.
A television movie – The Patty Duke Show – Still Rockin’ in Brooklyn Heights – aired on CBS on 27 April 1999 and presented an update on the show’s characters. Patty was now the principal of Brooklyn Heights High School but faced a great dilemma: Sue Ellen (her rival in the original series) was now very rich and wanted to demolish the school to make way for a shopping mall.
Patty and Richard had married but divorced after 27 years of marriage. Cathy had also married but was now a widow and living in Scotland. Ross was now a musician and Martin and Natalie had retired and moved to Florida.
Patty Duke died on 29 March 2016 at a hospital near her home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as a result of complications of a ruptured intestine. She was 69.
Sue Ellen Turner