Goodbye, Patty Duke

Actress Patty Duke passed away this week, joining a long list of classic TV contributors who have died recently.

As a teen, Duke won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Duke is best known for her work on the small screen, playing identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane on The Patty Duke Show (1963-66).

Duke later married actor John Astin (The Addams Family) and two of their sons (Sean, Mackenzie) became actors as well. She passed away Tuesday at age 69.

We also bid farewell to:

  • Producer-voice actress Sylvia Anderson, who teamed up with her husband Gerry to create Supermarionation series like Thunderbirds, Supercar and Fireball XL5
  • Writer Howard Berk, who penned episodes of Columbo, Mission: Impossible and The Rockford Files
  • Actor Peter Brown, best known for his roles on classic westerns Lawman and Laredo
  • Veteran tennis commentator Bud Collins (CBS, NBC, ESPN)
  • Actor James Douglas, who appeared in the primetime soap Peyton Place and daytime dramas Another World, As The World Turns, The Edge of Night and One Life To Live
  • Longtime CBS News correspondent Eric Engberg
  • Baseball player turned TV personality Joe Garagiola
  • Actor George Gaynes, who guested on such classics as Bonanza, Hawaiian Eye, Hawaii Five-0 and Mannix. He may be best remembered for his roles on sitcom Punky Brewster and the Police Academy movies
  • Writer-producer Earl Hamner Jr., creator and voice of The Waltons
  • Actor Robert Horton (Wagon Train)
  • Actor Ken Howard, best remembered for playing basketball coach Ken Reeves on The White Shadow
  • Film actor George Kennedy (Airport, Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Gun), who also worked on the small screen (Dallas, Gunsmoke, McHale’s Navy, The Phil Silvers Show). He starred in two series of his own: Sarge (1971) and The Blue Knight (1975)
  • Actor James Noble, remembered for his role as the governor on the Robert Guillaume sitcom Benson
  • Veteran character actor Joe Santos, who played Lieutenant (Sergeant) Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files
  • Writer-comedian-actor Garry Shandling, who wrote for classic 70s sitcoms Sanford and Son and Welcome Back Kotter. He later guest hosted The Tonight Show and starred in two groundbreaking cable series: It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and The Larry Sanders Show
  • Radio personality Charlie Tuna, who was the announcer for a number of classic 70s-80s game and talk shows (The $25,000 Pyramid, The Mike Douglas Show, The Quiz Kids Challenge, Scrabble)
  • Casting executive Renee Valente, who worked on such 1970s classics as The Partridge Family, Police Story, Police Woman and That’s My Mama

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