Remembering - Another causality of 2016. Pattie Duke was an extraordinary actress with depth and range. "My Sweet Charlie" a movie that she starred in along with Al Freeman, was my favorite piece of her artistry . Anna "Patty Duke" Pearce, died on Tuesday morning March 30.
Duke died at the age of 69 at a hospital in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. She was perhaps best known for portraying Helen Keller in 1962's The Miracle Worker, a role that earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At the time, she was the youngest Oscar winner ever at 16.
Along with her Oscar win, she will also be remembered for helping destigmatize mental illness. After bravely going public about her struggle with manic depression, Duke traveled the nation lobbying as a mental health advocate.
"The more she opened up, the more she shared of her pain. It is very instructive for people," Astin said. "This  bipolar diagnosis was a watershed. Now she had a new identity and a whole new mission -- a whole new sense of purpose -- and that was to share what she had gone through with other people."
The actress, along with other advocates like former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Mariel Hemingway, spoke out publicly about her bipolar disorder and other psychiatric health issues at a time when mental illnesses carried an even heavier stigma. Duke even opened up to ET about her diagnosis in a 1992 interview.
"I happen to prefer calling my disorder manic depression," Duke told ET at the time. "It is known as bipolar now. And if that works for other people, fine, but I prefer to call it manic depression because it sounds like it felt."
To honor his mother's legacy, Astin has set up a fundraiser for The Patty Duke Mental Health Project, which will continue Duke's campaign of awareness.
Duke's son Sean Austin said "Above all, the way that I think of my mother, the thing that gives me such joy and reverence for her, is that above all else, she was a warrior,".