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Patty Duke Honored, Remembered at Coeur d'Alene Memorial


Patty Duke, as Patty Lane, on The Patty Duke Show in 1965. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Patty Duke was remembered as an Oscar winning actress, mental health advocate, neighbor and friend Saturday as hundreds attended a memorial service at Lake City Church in Coeur d'Alene. Duke died March 29 in the northern Idaho city, which she had called home for nearly 25 years.

"How could God make something so small, but so mighty?" asked actress Melissa Gilbert at Saturday's memorial. Gilbert, known for her starring role on TV's Little House on the Prairie, co-starred with Duke in a 1979 remake of The Miracle Worker, the landmark film that earned Duke an Academy Award at the age of 16. "She had courage like no one I've ever known."

KREM-TV reports that while many attendees remembered Duke's acting prowess, even more memorial participants recognized Duke's mental health advocacy. In her 1987 autobiography, Duke revealed she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder—then known as manic depression—five years earlier, and went on to become a vocal advocate for people with mental health issues.

"She undertook the steps to take the name for the disease she lived with for so long and give it a face,” son Mackenzie Astin said at Saturday's memorial.