Whatever happened to Patty Duke’s Duluth baby?


The last time Patty Duke was in Duluth, she had a baby.

It was in a movie — You’ll Like My Mother — in 1972 in which a pregnant Francesca, played by Duke, arrives from Los Angeles to meet her late husband’s mother in Duluth. Eventually, someone gets stabbed.

Whatever happened to the baby in the movie?

Yesterday, Duke and the “baby” — Laura Adams — met again, if only via Skype, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

“Look at you,” Duke said to Laura Adams, remembering the blue eyes she adored 42 years ago. “It’s about time we hooked up.”

And then came some kismet. It turns out that Adams and Duke once lived not far from each other in Idaho. Adams moved to Seattle recently to complete a degree to eventually become a mental health practitioner.

“I can’t tell you how that warms my heart,” Duke said. The actress has been speaking about taking mental illness out of the shadows since revealing in 1982 that she had a bipolar disorder. She is speaking at a forum tonight on mental health issues, especially on getting more government funding to make treatment more accessible.

“God bless you,” Duke said to Adams. “We need you so badly.”

After living in Idaho and Alaska, Adams said she’s seen first-hand the need for psychiatric care in the more rural parts of the country.

“I knew I was looking at a baby who was going to do some good,” Duke said.

Patty Duke is in Duluth for a film festival.

  • MrE85

    “Whatever happened to Patty Duke’s Duluth baby?”
    I believe he went to Middle Earth to live a quiet life as a Hobbit gardener.

    • She.

      • MrE85

        Just having a little fun. I’m referring to Duke’s real baby, the actor Sean Austin.

  • Veronica

    I’m glad you posted this. I was astonished to find out Patty Duke has bipolar disorder when I read the article yesterday, and I am so glad she is speaking out about it. I don’t know, but I think we might be reaching the tipping point on the issue and mental illness is finally getting more acceptance.

    • Maybe. I think we’re feeling better about ourselves and how we view it, but I don’t think it’s resulting in significant systemic change.

      A family member, for example, just lost his disability benefits because the long term disability insurance policy he had through his employer allows them to drop him after two years. But that is only for mental health issures; they wouldn’t do that for physical disabilities.

      So we’re not really as enlightened as we sometimes like to think we are.

      • Veronica

        Well….I don’t know if that’s a lack of enlightenment or the case of jerk insurance companies being jerk insurance companies.