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Cathy Lane, teen-aged daughter of a globe-trotting journalist, comes to live at the home of her uncle, a newspaper editor in New York City. Curiously, Cathy is the spitting image of her uncle's daughter, Patty. Appearances aside, however, the urbane Cathy is nothing like her cousin Patty, who is the typical American teenager. Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <email@example.com>
Teenage actress Patty Duke,fresh from her riveting motion picture triumph in the 1962 film "The Miracle Worker",co-starring Anne Bancroft for which Duke won an Academy Award for her brilliant performance was ready to make the jump from feature films to starring in her own weekly television series. Patty Duke plays a dual role in this light-hearted family comedy titled "The Patty Duke Show",which was on ABC-TV from September 18,1963 until the final episode of the series on August 31,1966. In all,a total of 104 episodes were produced all in classic black and white and produced through Miss Duke's own production company(the youngest person ever to be an executive producer in charge of production)Chersaw Productions in association with United Artists Television. The show ran for four and a half years on the air and it survived the network's transformation years as some of the programs that were in black and white were about to make the jump to color in the show's final season. However,this series was still in black and white in its final season and never got the chance to make the change to color,and it was there that ABC pulled the plug on the series in the summer of 1966 after four seasons. This was a show that was patterned after the classic 1961 Disney film "The Parent Trap" starring Hayley Mills(who also played dual roles in the film)and here on "The Patty Duke Show",Miss Duke plays dual characters. As Patty Lane she was a perky,bubble-gum chewing loudmouth teenager who digs Paul Anka tunes,worships The Beatles,dances to the latest teen-oriented musical tunes,and has "slumber parties",with her girlfriends.
As Cathy Lane,she was Patty's intellectual Scottish cousin,newly arrived from overseas to live with the Lanes,complete with bagpipes and burr. The girls confused everybody in their middle-class Brooklyn Heights,New York neighborhood by mischievously switching personalities at critical moments. Since they were exact look-alikes,no one could tell them apart. The rest of the family consisted of the father figure Martin Lane(William Schallert),who was Patty's harried father, a newspaper editor for the New York Times;Natalie Lane(Jean Byron),the mother was the stay-at-home housewife who basically kept the kids at bay while daddy was away at work or whatever he was implied to doing. The 12-year old Ross Lane(Paul O'Keefe)was the younger brother,who was constantly at war with the girls and basically got blamed for everything that he didn't do but in just about every episode the girls get away with their mischief while poor Ross gets severely punished for something he didn't do,but was forgiven for it. Richard Harrison(Eddie Applegate)was Patty's boyfriend who was a part-time Western Union messenger(she liked men in uniform). If that is not all,Patty also had a rival who was always after the affections of Richard too,the underhanded Sue Ellen(Kitty Sullivan). The show itself was hilarious to boot with Patty coming up with one hair-brained scheme after another and of course always got in some kind of trouble with Cathy or Dad for help her out of a tight situation.
The show was so good that several guest stars made appearances. One episode I do recall had two of the hottest British musical acts of their day which was the hit recording duo of Chad and Jeremy. The others featured Bobby Vinton,teen heartthrobs Fabian and Frankie Avalon and not to mention appearances by Sammy Davis,Jr. really help the show's popularity among the teenage audience too. In filming some of the episodes for the show however was difficult since having one actress play two parts did present many problems during production especially when both girls were in the same scene. The young woman who served as Patty/Cathy's double,and was seen from the back as one girl while Patty Duke faced the camera as the other was Rita McLaughlin,who was the exact look-a-like complex of Miss Duke herself. In perspective, "The Patty Duke Show",brought out some of the things that teens in the 1960's faced especially when dealing with football games,parties,and other things of interest and this show handled that very well. However,a reunion of the original cast came back in 1999 for ABC however in a two hour television movie based on the hit series from the 1960's with Patty Duke again in the dual roles that made her a household name.
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