Patty Duke remembered by celebrities as a screen legend: ‘Thank you for sharing your talent’


Oscar-winning TV and film actress Patty Duke, who died on Tuesday, was remembered fondly by actors, actresses, social media celebrities and mental health advocates. The former child star, who won an Oscar for her performance as Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" at age 16, died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was 69.

Duke's son Sean Astin, of "Lord of the Rings" fame, posted a heartfelt Facebook statement saying that "the exquisite artist, humanitarian, and champion for mental health... closed her eyes, quieted her pain and ascended to a beautiful place. We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life."

Astin also launched a Crowdrise campaign to raise money for his mother's work in the mental health community.

"The Patty Duke Show" star was also lauded on Facebook and Twitter by her peers. Among them was her "Miracle Worker" costar Melissa Gilbert, the young cast and crew of the Disney Channel's twin-teen sitcom "Liv and Maddie," on which Duke guest-starred last year, as well as folks from "Glee" and "Drop Dead Diva."

"I called her Anna. She was not only an icon, but a good friend. I'm devastated. RIPPattyDuke," her "Drop Dead Diva" costar Margaret Cho wrote on Twitter, adding, "I was encouraging her to do a Valley of the Dolls screening so I could interview her after. We never got to. I love you Anna. #RIPPattyDuke No one had better gossip about the 60s. #RIPPatty"

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Duke, full name Anna Patty Duke Pearce, was also elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1985 and served as the second female president of the union. The guild, whose latest president Ken Howard died last week, commemorated Duke with an obituary, recognizing her as an "Oscar and Emmy-winning actor, labor activist, and pioneering advocate for mental health issues."

"It is a difficult time for the union, and Anna's death is another devastating loss to our union family. She was a committed unionist and a champion for her fellow members," said SAG-AFTRA Acting President Gabrielle Carteris. "I had the honor of working with Anna and she had an amazing energy, resolve and positive spirit. She will be sorely missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family."

Actor Ed Asner, who preceded Duke as SAG president, remembered her as "a great star and a great person," he told Deadline. "I will miss her existence here on this earth."

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2:45 p.m.: This post has been updated to include reactions from SAG-AFTRA, Ed Asner and other celebrities.

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