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Longtime Coeur d’Alene resident Patty Duke remembered in Academy Awards telecast

UPDATED: Sun., Feb. 26, 2017, 11:23 p.m.

In this April 8, 1963, file photo, actress Patty Duke, 16, accepts the Oscar as best supporting actress for her work in “The Miracle Worker” at the annual Academy Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Duke, who moved to Coeur d’Alene in 1990, died March 29, 2016. She was honored in the “In Memorium” segment of Sunday’s telecast of the 89th annual Academy Awards. (Associated Press)
In this April 8, 1963, file photo, actress Patty Duke, 16, accepts the Oscar as best supporting actress for her work in “The Miracle Worker” at the annual Academy Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Duke, who moved to Coeur d’Alene in 1990, died March 29, 2016. She was honored in the “In Memorium” segment of Sunday’s telecast of the 89th annual Academy Awards. (Associated Press)

Nearly a year after her death at age 69, actress Patty Duke was remembered Sunday during the 89th annual Academy Awards telecast.

In the yearly “In Memoriam” portion of the Oscars ceremony, Duke was among a host of stars, filmmakers and other movie industry professionals who died in the past 12 months. She also was included in a montage of previous winners of the best supporting actress Oscars.

The segment was introduced by Jennifer Aniston, who added a last-minute tribute to actor Bill Paxton, whose death was announced hours before the Oscar ceremony began.

Serenaded with the Joni Mitchell song, “Both Sides, Now,” performed by Sara Bareilles, Duke’s death was noted alongside those of fellow Idahoan George Kennedy, Gene Wilder, Prince, Garry Marshall, Anton Yelchin, Mary Tyler Moore, Kenny Baker, John Hurt, and the mother and daughter Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, who died within a day of each other in December. The taped memorial segment concluded with Fisher speaking a line from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – “May the force be with you.”

Duke, who lived in Coeur d’Alene under her legal name, Anna Pearce, for nearly three decades, won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Helen Keller in the 1962 film “The Miracle Worker.” She would later win an Emmy Award for “The Miracle Worker,” this time portraying Anne Sullivan, Keller’s teacher. In 2011, she added another dimension to her work on “The Miracle Worker,” when she directed a production of the stage play for Interplayers Theatre in Spokane.

She died March 29, 2016, of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.


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