Yet it was her lifelong battle with mental illness that truly seemed to be her calling.
Times film critic Kenneth Turan, Duke was brutally honest about her bouts of drug abuse, her turbulent childhood, her first three marriages, and the struggle to emancipate herself from her abusive stage managers.
But fighting back through pain, both physical and mental, was nothing new for Duke, who struggled with bipolar disorder for most of her life.
She was married to her first husband, Michael Tell, about 70 hours.
With their help she started career of an actress.
In Patty Duke's case, a ruptured intestine was the source of her sepsis.