Actress Patty Duke has passed away at 69

Music 30/03/2016
Veteran actress Patty Duke has died, aged 69.

"Her cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine,” a statement from her reads. "She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be missed."

Patty played Helen Keller in 1962 in the movie The Miracle Worker, and won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal. At 16, she became the youngest person ever to win an Oscar.

Duke also starred in her own sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, in the early-to-mid 1960s and then made history in 1965 as the star of Billie, the first movie ever sold to a television network.

Her other film credits include Valley of the Dolls, Me, Natalie, and A Family Upside Down, while she won Emmy Awards for the mini-series Captains and the Kings and the 1979 TV movie version of The Miracle Worker, in which she played Annie Sullivan.

Patty became President of the Screen Actors Guild in the early 1980s.

She opened up about her battle with manic depression in her 1987 autobiography Call Me Anna, which was turned into a TV movie in 1990. Patty played herself from her 30s onward. She wrote a second memoir, A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depression Illness, in 1992.

Away from showbusiness, she was a political advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, AIDS and nuclear disarmament.

She marked her 30th wedding anniversary earlier this month, tweeting, "30 years ago today, Mike and I married. We (are) having a very happy and quiet day. Love and hugs to all.”