The Miracle Worker

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Photo of Patty Duke as Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan in the Broadway play The Miracle Worker: In this scene, Miss Sullivan tries to teach Helen the meaning of "water".

The Miracle Worker is a cycle of 20th-century dramatic works derived from Helen Keller's 1903 autobiography The Story of My Life. Each of the various dramas describes the relationship between Helen, a deafblind and initially almost feral child, and Anne Sullivan, the teacher who introduced her to education, activism, and international stardom. Its first realization was a 1957 Playhouse 90 broadcast written by William Gibson and starring Teresa Wright as Sullivan and Patricia McCormack as Keller. Gibson adapted his teleplay for a 1959 Broadway production with Anne Bancroft as Keller and Patty Duke as Sullivan. The 1962 film, also starred Bancroft and Duke. Subsequent made-for-television movies were released in 1979 and 2000.

Source of the name[edit]

The title originates in Mark Twain's description of Sullivan as a "miracle worker". The famed American humorist and author was an admirer of both women, and although his own personal finances were problematic, he helped arrange the funding of Keller's Radcliffe College education by his friend, financier and industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers.



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