Patty Duke (1946-2016)

This one hit me hard in the gut. Perhaps it was because she was after all the great Patty Duke. Maybe it was because she was only 69. But I think it was mainly because I selfishly yearned to see her again.

Winning the Academy Award for The Miracle Worker at just age 16, Duke would later receive her own series, appropriately titled The Patty Duke Show. Other significant roles included The Valley of the Dolls and a slew of TV movies earning her three Emmys, and two Golden Globes.

I met Patty twice over the years, both at the Chiller Theatre Expo. First in 2010 and again in 2013. Every tweet, comment, or statement her friends and colleagues are giving is the truth. She was everything you would imagine her to be. A dedicated wife, a proud mother and grandmother, and after witnessing a moment between her and John Astin, I would say a cordial ex-wife.

Duke, Patty (1)

Let’s be clear on one thing, Patty was not this tall. I was crouching down quite a bit, something she often had to be done by the kids and grandkids in her family photos.

Typically, I only see a star once and that’s it, but Patty made such a positive impression in 2010, I lined up for her again when she returned in 2013. It was like seeing an old friend. She loved to hug her friends, and damn, did she give great hugs.

Duke, Patty (2)

Let’s be clear on one thing, Patty was not this tall. I was crouching down quite a bit, something she often had to be done by the kids and grandkids in her family photos.

And I guess, sadly, that’s all she wrote. Ironically, I found a copy of one of her old LPs and had it on standby for when I’d see her again. Oh well, grateful for the moments we had, and for the decades of enjoyment she provided her fans.Rest in Peace, Patty.

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