Patty Duke, the Oscar-winning former child star, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning. She was 69.

Patty Duke Dead At 69

Duke’s death was confirmed by her rep Mitchell Stubbs, reported NBC News. “Anna ‘Patty Duke’ Pearce passed away this morning March 29, 2016 at 1:20 am,” Stubbs statement read. “Her 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 missed.”

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

Duke got her start as an actress at 12, when she was cast as Helen Keller on Broadway in The Miracle Worker. She reprised the part of Helen Keller opposite Anne Bancroft as her teacher Anne Sullivan in the big screen adaptation that came out in 1962, for which she won an Oscar. In The Miracle Worker TV Movie that came out in 1979, Duke played Anne Sullivan and won an Emmy.


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In the 60s, Duke had rocketed to fame as the star of The Patty Duke Show, which ran for three seasons and 104 episodes. Her other TV projects, included The United States Steel Hour, Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby, Captains and the Kings, It Takes Two, Insight, Hail to the Chief, Amazing Grace and Touched By an Angel. Duke more recently appeared on an episode of Glee.

Duke’s film credits, in addition to the critically-acclaimed Miracle Worker, include Valley of the Dolls, Me, Natalie, By Design, Prelude to a Kiss and Amazing Love. Her final movie, Power of the Air, is in post production.

Duke is survived by her husband Michael Pearce, their son Kevin Pearce and her sons Sean Astin and Mackenzie Astin from previous relationships.

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