Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in Arthur Penn's The Miracle Worker, (USA, 1962)
RIP Patty Duke. She will always be for me, first and foremost, the blind and deaf Helen Keller in Arthur Penn's magnificent film version, The Miracle Worker, made in 1962. Anne Bancroft was equally superb as Annie Sullivan, who worked with manic intensity to make contact with her in spite of the near impossibility of the task. The film had an emotional wallop in spite of the clinical and austere approach to the material taken by director Penn. I was too young (and broke) to be lucky enough to ever see them play, to great acclaim, these roles on the Broadway stage but the film version conveyed the intensity of the relationship without missing a beat. Both Duke and Bancroft scored the Oscars that were odds-on at the Awards ceremony. Duke was the youngest actress ever to have received the award at that stage. A film career eluded her but she moved into TV and scored enormous popularity from the fans of her comedy series The Patty Duke Show.. From 1985 to 1988 she became President of the Screen Actors Guild.