Patty Duke has passed away. Most of you probably already know this. She was born of December 14, 1946 as Anna Marie Duke. This is all the factual information that will be reported here. The rest is about what she meant.
The Patty Duke show is iconic in many ways. It was a family comedy about two look alike cousins one English and very cultured and one American and very all American. Patty Lane, the American cousin was a female version of Archie Andrews, always getting herself into trouble or getting into to trouble because she was trying to do something good. Kathy Lane the English cousin was the voice of reason in the show. Patty Duke played both parts not an easy thing to do for a TV show that would last for three seasons. But she did it splendidly and flawlessly.
Patty Lane was an inspiration to a much younger me. Sure she got in to trouble, but she found a way out or learned a valuable lesson. Her attempts to do good often ended in disaster, but that never stopped her from trying to do good. She had insane crazy ideas which hardly ever worked out but she kept dreaming. When the character dreamed, she dreamed big and then went after those dreams.
This is what I want to take away from the life of Patty Duke. The art that she created for television can continue to inspire me to dream big and take a shot at the dream. I can still do good even if I mess up, and life will always have its troubles, even after high school, but we deal with them and we learn from them and we move on.
Patty Duke herself did not always have a happy life. She struggled with identity issues and other serious problems, but she got through and became better for them. We don’t look at a Van Gogh painting and think, “This is by the guy who cut his ear off.” We look at a Van Gogh painting and we see the beauty of the work, we see the world in swirls of color as he saw it. The same can be said about Patty Duke. We don’t remember her for her troubles, we remember her for the laughter and inspiration she gave us.
I wept when I read that Patty Duke passed away. My sister likes to be called Trish, but growing up she was Patty, and because of Patty Duke, I just can’t call her Trish. From time to time I call my dad Poppo as that is what Patty Lane called her father. I sing The Patty Duke Show Theme Song out loud at least a couple of times a month. And I own the entire series of The Patty Duke Show on DVD. For me Patty Duke will always be young living in Brooklyn Heights New York and telling me crazy dreams can come true. I think it is time to stop weeping bring out the DVDs open a bottle of wine and laugh.