Originally Posted right after Patty Duke Died.
Melissa Gilbert /Patty Duke
Melissa Gilbert is remembering Anna “Patty Duke” Pearce after her death on Tuesday morning.
The Little House on the Prairie star tells ET in a moving statement, “Anna was my dear friend, teacher, and a second mother.”
“Her passing leaves a huge hole in my heart. She helped raise me to be the woman I am today,” the 51-year-old actress continues. “She was so loved by so many people including me.”
Gilbert, who shared the screen with Duke in 1979’s The Miracle Worker, goes on to reflect on Duke’s achievements as an actor, her family, and her mental health advocacy work. Read on for her entire statement.
“She had a mind-boggling depth of talent, a fantastic sense of humor and survived being a child actor in the worst of circumstances. Anna won every award possible as a performer and as a humanitarian, and it was all well-deserved — she was an extraordinary human
“Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke, a beloved child star who became one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actresses, is dead. She was 69.
Duke died Tuesday in Idaho from an infection after suffering a ruptured intestine, her manager said.
The Queens-born daughter of a troubled cashier and an alcoholic car driver, Duke overcame a dark childhood to hit the trifecta of stardom on TV, in the movies, and on Broadway. She was president -Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988”
Duke rocketed to fame in the 1960s as the star of “The Patty Duke Show,” which ran for 104 episodes over three seasons, and in which she played her rambunctious self as well as her more demure “identical cousin.”
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, Duke devoted her later years to championing mental health programs and raising her three sons, two of whom — Sean and Mackenzie Astin — followed in their mother’s footsteps and became actors as well.
“I love you Mom,” Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in
One of my all time favorite actresses. Patty Duke
May she rest in peace.