Patty Duke dies at age 69; Oscar-winning actress and mental health advocate

March 30, 2016 3:29 AM

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Patty Duke came to fame as a teenager, combining both a masterful talent for dramatic acting with a sunny, all-American image that enchanted both TV and film audiences. But her admirers had no clue about the much-uglied reality of Duke's childhood, marred by nightmarish abuse and exploitation. Overcoming her troubles in her adult years, Duke became an outspoken advocate for mental health causes.

Duke, who won an Oscar at age 16 for her portrayal of Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" but was more known for her bouncy 1960s TV sitcom "The Patty Duke Show," died Tuesday at age 69 at a hospital in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.

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