Patty duke told me she is not a singer although she had one hit back in the 60's she says in her mind she sounds like a bird, but in reality she sings like a dog. Duke has only been associated with "Wicked" for five weeks. That's rehearsal time, then getting into the San Francisco show the end if March.
She won an Academy Award for "The Miracle Worker." Was a child star, including the TV show "The Patty Duke Show," and found her career mismanaged by a couple who got more difficult to deal with, she says.
She had a problem of alcohol and drug abuse as a teen. She says it is not unlike today's headline making teens. She blames tabloids for part of the problem. "they feed on each other until somebody has some awful thing happen" she told me. She says part of it is youthful indiscretion. She hopes friends can help those in trouble.
While she has trouble with the way that couple that managed her handled her career she says "they are not responsible for a chemical imbalance in my brain. I did not found out about that until I was 35." (she is 62 now)
It wasn't called bipolar back then. It was called manic depression which sounds less frightening to her. It kind of sounds like it felt. She got help and medication now she tours the country talking to groups about being bipolar. The good thing, she says, is she does it so they don't feel alone or peculiar.
She is doing "Wicked" for six months. She wasn't sure about it at first, wasn't sure she'd have the stamina for eight shows a week, but she's learning something in every show and loving it.
She couldn't have been nicer. And loves living in San Francisco for these six months, but away from her home in Idaho. However, he husband is with her.
One of her sons, Sean Austin of "Lord of the Rings" fame, was here a few years ago to talk to the acting class at McAteer High's School of the Arts, and I did a story with him then. He was quite charming. She liked that, thanked me, and then gave me a big hug.