I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the [March 29] passing of actress Patty Duke. Duke gave one of the great screen performances of all time in her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker.
Rivaling this performance, at least in my opinion, was her Emmy-winning portrayal of a young Southern girl in the 1971 TV movie My Sweet Charlie. Few films have actually changed my perspective about life, but this one did. Those not born and raised in the South may not fully get just how good she was. She inhabits the role the way only great actors can. How someone born and raised in New York could so flawlessly channel a character like Marlene is beyond my comprehension; I only know she did.
Perhaps it’s like singer Harry Chapin said, “The real ones learn it somewhere.” Patty Duke was one of the realest, a great actor who also happened to be a great human being.
— Joe Elliott