The Patty Duke Show

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The Patty Duke Show
Opening sequence of The Patty Duke Show
Genre Sitcom
Created by William Asher
Sidney Sheldon
Written by Gary Abrams
William Asher
David Butler
Arnold Horwitt
Roy Kammerman
Sidney Sheldon
Directed by Bruce Bilson
Harry Falk
Claudio Guzmán
Stanley Prager
Alan Rafkin
James Sheldon
Don Weis
Starring Patty Duke
William Schallert
Jean Byron
Paul O'Keefe
Eddie Applegate
Theme music composer Sid Ramin
Robert Wells
Composer(s) Sid Ramin
Harry Geller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 104
Producer(s) William Asher
Stanley Prager
Bob Sweeney
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Chrislaw Productions (1963–1966)
United Artists Television (1963–1966)
Cottage Industries, Inc. (1965–1966)
Distributor MGM Television
Original channel ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 18, 1963 (1963-09-18) – April 27, 1966 (1966-04-27)
Followed by The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights

The Patty Duke Show is an American sitcom which ran on ABC from September 18, 1963 to April 27, 1966, with reruns airing through August 31, 1966. The show was created as a vehicle for rising star Patty Duke. A total of 104 episodes were produced, most written by Sidney Sheldon.


Patty Lane (Duke) is a normal, chatty, rambunctious teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City; her father is the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle. In the unaired pilot episode, her "identical cousin," the sophisticated, brainy and demure Cathy Lane (also played by Duke), whose father also works for the Chronicle as a foreign correspondent, arrives in the United States from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend school. While both girls are identical in physical appearance, their style, tastes, and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for most of the comedic situations on the show.

The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy Lane share is explained by the fact that their fathers are identical twins. While Patty speaks with a typical American accent, Cathy speaks with a slight Scottish accent; not surprisingly however, both cousins are able to mimic each other's voice. Patty and Cathy also have a doppleganger in a distant cousin, the southern belle Betsy, who visits from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Also identical, cousin Betsy is also played by Duke and seen only in the second season episode, "The Perfect Hostess."

Characters and cast[edit]

Rounding out the cast were William Schallert as Patty's father Martin Lane (Schallert also played Cathy's father Kenneth in a handful of episodes), Jean Byron as Patty's mother Natalie Lane, Paul O'Keefe as Patty's brother Ross Lane, and Eddie Applegate as Patty's boyfriend Richard Harrison. David Doyle played Jonathan Harrison, Richard's construction engineer father, in three episodes over the first two seasons.

In the pilot episode only, Mark Miller played Patty's father and Charles Herbert played Patty's brother. The pilot episode was not aired as such, but parts of it were used in the last episode of the first season, with Schallert and O'Keefe in their respective roles.[1]

Special guest stars included singing duo Chad and Jeremy, teen-heartthrob singers Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vinton, Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Robert Goulet, Jimmy Dean, Sal Mineo, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and a then-unknown James Brolin and John Spencer.


The show's theme song, which has since been parodied many times over in pop culture, illustrates the two girls' differences: "Cathy adores the minuet, the Ballet Russe, and crêpes Suzette, while Patty loves to rock 'n' roll; the hot dog makes her lose control." The theme song was sung by a 5-voice vocal ensemble (2 women, 3 men) called "The Skip-Jacks."

Patty Duke as Cathy & Patty Lane
The Lanes (clockwise from bottom left: Patty Duke as Patty, Jean Byron as Natalie, William Schallert as Martin, and Paul O'Keefe as Ross)

Visual effects[edit]

The dual role for Duke challenged special effects for its time, considering that television special effects were rare in the early 1960s, particularly for a sitcom.

In all episodes, Duke appeared as both characters in the same frame through use of a split-screen effect. The technically ambitious traveling matte process was also used from time to time, particularly in the pilot. To complement these effects, child actress Rita McLaughlin was used as Duke's double (almost always seen only from behind).[2] In order to differentiate the two characters to the viewing public, the character Patty wore a flip-fall hairpiece, while Cathy's character wore a more conservative turn-under hairstyle.


Already a budding star in her own right, Duke was further thrust into the public consciousness through the show. As the series went on, her star power from the series allowed her to enter the realm of popular music, releasing a Top Ten single, "Don't Just Stand There", in 1965.[3]


Filming locations[edit]

By the early 1960s most sitcoms were being produced in Hollywood, whereas previously they had been produced in New York. New formats and innovations such as filmed shows, video tape, and coast to coast coaxial cable service allowed for this change. By 1963 mostly game shows, such as What's My Line, and soap operas, such as The Secret Storm, still originated from New York, whereas most other productions moved out West. The Patty Duke Show would prove to be the exception for the time, as it was filmed in New York and not in Hollywood.[4]

When the series unaired pilot episode was filmed in early 1963, featuring actors Mark Miller and Charles Herbert in the roles of Martin and Ross Lane respectively, the show was filmed in Hollywood with San Francisco as the setting for the series. However, when the series was picked up by ABC it was realized that Duke's age, which was at the time 16, would prove to be a challenge. California's strict child labor laws, known informally as the Coogan Laws after famed 1920s child actor Jackie Coogan, curtailed the number of hours that child actors could work. It was thus decided that the show would originate from New York, as New York, by contrast, did not have such stringent laws. This would allow producers to devote more time to the production, a distinct advantage, since Duke effectively carried the show.[5]:116 With the switch to the East Coast it was decided to reset the show in Brooklyn Heights with the Chelsea Studios in Manhattan serving as the filming location.[4]

Duke turned 18 during the 1965–66 television season; consequently ABC wanted to shift the show's production to Hollywood. To the network's displeasure, Duke refused to make the move; at the time, she was in the midst of breaking off her relationship with her managers, who were insisting upon the move. Although the series kicked off in New York at the beginning of the season, a few of the last shows were in fact filmed on the West Coast.[1] Had the show continued it would have stayed in California but its cancellation made further discussion moot.


Although the series was still very popular during its final season and getting high Nielsen ratings, ABC decided not to renew it for the 1966–67 season on the basis that filming it in color would have been prohibitively expensive (at the time all three networks were switching their entire prime time lineups to color production).

Duke wrote in her memoir Call Me Anna that United Artists, which produced the series (as well as The Miracle Worker), refused ABC's demand for a switch to color. Duke suspected that United Artists executives said no as "a negotiating ploy" with the hope that ABC would respond with an offer to pay more money for the series. Instead, ABC decided not to renew the series.[5]:167


The Patty Duke Show was rerun on Nick at Nite from September 19, 1988 to August 30, 1993.[6][7] On June 30, 1995, Nick at Nite showed one episode of the series during their 10th anniversary celebration.[8] In 2005, both Nick at Nite and TV Land aired an episode of Patty in honor of Nick at Nite's 20th anniversary.

As of November 1, 2008, The Patty Duke Show is being syndicated on This TV as part of an early morning classic TV block. Prior to this, the show had not appeared in national syndication since Nick at Nite dropped it from its lineup. As of March 2009, the show was being broadcast daily on World Harvest Television, the cable/satellite channel operated by televangelist Lester Sumrall's LeSEA Broadcasting.

As of November 4, 2013, The Patty Duke Show is currently airing on Antenna TV as part of its regular programming schedule.

Reunion movie[edit]

In 1999, CBS aired the TV movie The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, which reunited the original cast, including Duke, Byron, O'Keefe, Schallert, and Applegate. In Still Rockin', Patty and Richard married after high school, had a son, a granddaughter, and were amicably divorced (though toward the end of the movie, they reconcile). Cathy is a widow living in Scotland and has a teenage son. Martin and Natalie moved to Florida after Martin retired from The New York Chronicle. Most of the plot revolves around Patty's old rival Sue Ellen and her plans to buy Brooklyn Heights High School (where Patty works as a drama teacher), raze it, and replace it with a mall, which is opposed by Patty, Cathy, and the rest of the Lane family. Kitty Sullivan, who played Patty's nemesis Sue Ellen in several episodes of the TV show, was unavailable to reprise her role for the movie and was replaced by Cindy Williams.

DVD releases[edit]

Shout! Factory has released all 3 seasons of The Patty Duke Show on DVD in Region 1.[9]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 37 September 29, 2009
The Complete Second Season 36 February 9, 2010
The Complete Third and Final Season 32 August 24, 2010

Social Security campaigns[edit]

In 2009, Duke reprised her dual roles from the show in a public service announcement (PSA) for The Social Security Administration, in which Patty asked Cathy about where she got her information about how to get Social Security benefits and other questions, such as how to apply online. The PSA was targeted toward baby boomers who were born or grew up in the 1960s.[10]

In 2010, the main cast of The Patty Duke Show (except Jean Byron, who died in 2006) reprised their roles in a series of PSAs, again for the Social Security Administration.


  1. ^ a b Parla, Paul; Mitchell, Charles P. (2000). Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction. McFarland. p. 29. ISBN 0-7864-0701-8. 
  2. ^ Mansour, Davod (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 355. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2. 
  3. ^ "Patty Duke – Charts & Awards". Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b New York: The Movie Lover's Guide: The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie New York – Richard Alleman – Broadway (February 1, 2005) ISBN 0-7679-1634-4
  5. ^ a b Duke, Patty; Turan, Kenneth (1988). Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-27205-5. 
  6. ^ Nick at Nite Log – 1985–present
  7. ^ The Intelligencer – August 27, 1993
  8. ^ The Intelligencer – June 30, 1995
  9. ^ "More Fun with Identical Cousins, when Shout! Releases Season 3"
  10. ^ Patty Lane Retires – Social Security From YouTube

External links[edit]