Patty Duke’s legacy: A willingness to talk about mental health

Patty Duke, the actress who first made a name for herself with a ’60s TV series, died today, her family announced.

“This morning, our beloved wife, mother, matriarch and the exquisite artist, humanitarian and champion of mental health, Anna Patty Duke, closed her eyes, quieted her pain and ascended to a beautiful place,” a family statement said. “We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life.

She won an Oscar for her role as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” but her legacy should include that she was one of the first people to talk openly about her depression, which she did after she was diagnosed bipolar and tried to kill herself in the early ’80s.