Patty Duke's son, Sean Astin: 'I am who I am because of my mom' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Patty Duke's son, Sean Astin: 'I am who I am because of my mom'

Posted: Updated:
Sean Astin speaks with KHQ. Sean Astin speaks with KHQ.
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

Oscar-winning actor and mental health advocate Patty Duke passed away Tuesday at a Coeur d'Alene hospital. She was 69 years old.

Her son, actor Sean Aston (Lord of the Rings, Rudy) says he wouldn't be the man he is today without her. "I am who I am today because of my mom. She was told not to have me. She had me anyway and together we were a team, it was us against the world. She was mistreated horribly in the tabloids. You know, she attracted a lot of attention because of bad behavior. It would later turn out to be bipolar disorder but at the time it was, you know, bad behavior."

Astin says he's been absolutely overwhelmed with all the support he's gotten, and by all the people reaching out to give their condolences. He says today is not a sad day. "You know, I'm happy today. Because she's not in pain anymore. I'm an actor and when we see our colleagues pass we're crushed. It's devastating. But you also get a chance for everyone to celebrate the best of what that person achieved in their life, and today's my mom's turn."

He goes on to say that her life in Coeur d'Alene was important to her, not just because of the mental health advocacy she championed. Even though she moved away from Hollywood, "there is no moment on the Silver Screen," Astin says, "no experience on the vast expanse on television that is more important to her than the local community theater. It's just as sacred, she took it just as important as anything else she did."

Duke leaves behind her close family, which also includes husband Mike. Astin says his step-dad is devastated by her loss because the two were as close as a couple can be. "The truest story for my mom isn't just her Academy award for Helen Keller or her hundreds of movies of the week or her best-selling book. The truest story for her is her love affair with my step-dad. You can't find something as powerful or devoted as what those two share."

Right now the family is deciding how to proceed with funeral arrangements, and whether there will be a public memorial. He's also started a crowd-sourcing page to help promote some of his mom's mental health advocacy. The program, called "The Mental Health Project" is seeking $250,000 to raise funds for the Patty Duke Mental Initiative. On the project's website he writes "this initiative will fuel a multi-level approach to achieving results for those suffering with mental illness, and for their families and communities. Public awareness campaigns, lobbying efforts, and supporting a multitude of mental health programs big and small will be organized, prioritized and vigorously pursued."

You can donate to the project by CLICKING HERE: https://www.crowdrise.com/patty-duke-mental-health-project/fundraiser/seanastin1/contact_organizer

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Wednesday, December 21 2016 2:36 PM EST2016-12-21 19:36:25 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>
  • Spokane Police investigating death of man shot during sex

    Spokane Police investigating death of man shot during sex

    Wednesday, November 14 2018 8:45 PM EST2018-11-15 01:45:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police are investigating the death of a man who reportedly shot himself in the head during sex. In a search warrant filed Nov. 8 in Spokane Superior Court, a detective wrote that around 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, police were called to a home in the 7800 block of North Morton Ave. after a woman said her partner shot himself in the head. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police are investigating the death of a man who reportedly shot himself in the head during sex. In a search warrant filed Nov. 8 in Spokane Superior Court, a detective wrote that around 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, police were called to a home in the 7800 block of North Morton Ave. after a woman said her partner shot himself in the head. 

    >>
  • Couple, homeless man charged in charitable scam

    Couple, homeless man charged in charitable scam

    Thursday, November 15 2018 2:39 PM EST2018-11-15 19:39:47 GMT

    MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Authorities say a New Jersey couple and a homeless man made up a "feel good" story about the man helping them so they could raise money through an online fundraiser. Burlington County prosecutors outlined the allegations against Mark D'Amico, Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt on Thursday.

    >>

    MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Authorities say a New Jersey couple and a homeless man made up a "feel good" story about the man helping them so they could raise money through an online fundraiser. Burlington County prosecutors outlined the allegations against Mark D'Amico, Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt on Thursday.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • NRA suing to block Initiative 1639

    NRA suing to block Initiative 1639

    Friday, November 16 2018 2:26 AM EST2018-11-16 07:26:01 GMT

    The National Rifle Association is suing to block a new, voter-approved gun control measure in Washington state. Initiative 1639 passed with 60 percent of the vote last week. 

    >>

    The National Rifle Association is suing to block a new, voter-approved gun control measure in Washington state. Initiative 1639 passed with 60 percent of the vote last week. 

    >>
  • Controversial Mike Leach tweet cost WSU $1.6 million in pledged donations

    Controversial Mike Leach tweet cost WSU $1.6 million in pledged donations

    Friday, November 16 2018 1:24 AM EST2018-11-16 06:24:14 GMT
    WSU to review student conduct processWSU to review student conduct process

    A controversial tweet by WSU head football coach Mike Leach cost the University $1.6 million in pledged donations. The tweet, which was sent in June, depicted a doctored video of a speech by former President Barack Obama. 

    >>

    A controversial tweet by WSU head football coach Mike Leach cost the University $1.6 million in pledged donations. The tweet, which was sent in June, depicted a doctored video of a speech by former President Barack Obama. 

    >>
  • Officials: mountain lion kitten seized from Colorado home was sick after being fed bratwurst

    Officials: mountain lion kitten seized from Colorado home was sick after being fed bratwurst

    Friday, November 16 2018 12:51 AM EST2018-11-16 05:51:15 GMT

    Wildlife officials who seized a mountain lion kitten from a southern Colorado home say the feline fell ill after the residents fed it bratwurst. Travis Sauder with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the kitten appeared to be in good health otherwise and was sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center Tuesday.

    >>

    Wildlife officials who seized a mountain lion kitten from a southern Colorado home say the feline fell ill after the residents fed it bratwurst. Travis Sauder with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the kitten appeared to be in good health otherwise and was sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center Tuesday.

    >>