Hollywood legend Patty Duke, 67, will spend much of the next week in Duluth, a special guest of the five-day Duluth Superior Film Festival.
In 1972, Duke starred in a made-for-television movie, a psychological thriller called "You'll Like My Mother" that was shot at Glensheen, the mansion that later became famous for being the site of real-life murders. The Duluth News Tribune reported that she returned to the grounds of the famed historic Congdon Estate for a press conference Tuesday and said she still found the setting to be spooky enough to raise some goosebumps.
"It was all really freaky,” she said of the film and the shooting. “It’s stoking good memories, but that place evokes a little fear in me.”
The 1972 film will be shown outdoors at 8 p.m. Sunday at Glensheen with Duke in the audience.
Duke was a child star who won an Academy Award at age 16 for her role as Helen Keller. She went on to star in "The Patty Duke Show" and was involved in numerous films. More recently, Duke has assumed a second career as an outspoken advocate for mental health issues and has been frank about her own struggles with her bipolar disorder.
WDIO reports that she will talk about mental health and the need to break social stigmas in a presentation in Duluth scheduled for Thursday evening. (Seating capacity at that appearance has been reached, so registrations are no longer being taken.)
Duke struggled secretly for years with mental illness that wasn’t officially diagnosed until 1982.
"I had, kind of a mixed manic and depressed state," Duke said. "Of course nobody could know about it. I had to put up the facade."
Ten years earlier, while a leading lady filming in Duluth, she said she was having a “tough time mentally.” The Northlands News Center reported that while she was filming of "You'll Like My Mother," Duke said she was struggling off–screen with undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
“My life has been a constant transition,” she said. “I like to share my story.”
Richard Hansen introduced Duke. The founder and director of the film festival said Duke’s son, Mackenzie Astin, star of another Duluth-based film, “Iron Will,” had such a good time at last year’s festival that he suggested his mother come to the area to participate in this year's event.
Duke recalled the friendliness of the people of the area during her time shooting in Duluth. The News Tribune story said that she is "...particularly interested in reuniting" with a baby from the area that she carried in a scene in the film. "She also would like to meet the family that took care of her 1-year-old son during the shooting. She hopes they forgive her for forgetting their names," the story added.
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