News Article

Patty Dukes It Out

Anna Duke-Pearce's revealing role -- The actress stars in ''Call Me Anna,'' a TV movie based on her autobiography

In ABC's TV movie Call Me Anna (Nov. 11), actress Patty Duke is portrayed as a temperamental terror whose pill-popping and tantrums nearly destroyed her. It's the kind of gloves-off bashing that could generate a lawsuit — except that the actress herself coproduced the movie (using her real name, Anna Duke-Pearce) and plays the starring role. ''I felt it was important to let people know about my illness,'' says Duke, whose manic depression abated when she began lithium treatments in the mid-'80s. ''Otherwise, why relive it?''

Call Me Anna, based on Duke's 1988 autobiography, follows the actress from her childhood mistreatment by her managers through her work on The Patty Duke Show (''Only in the last year have I begun to look at it with any fondness,'' she says), three turbulent marriages, and her Screen Actors Guild presidency. Duke says the hardest part wasn't playing herself, ''although I did keep stumbling over the line 'Patronizing!' in a fight scene, because it was exactly what I used to yell at John [Astin, her ex-husband].'' Her main concern was being ''as fair as I can to people who are still alive, and to the memories of those who aren't. It's not my intention to make anyone a villain.''

Originally posted Nov 02, 1990 Published in issue #38 Nov 02, 1990 Order article reprints
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