People magazine reports exclusively on the secret to the late Patty Duke's happiness during the last three decades of her life: Small-town theater.
Duke's son, actor Sean Astin, tells the magazine that his mom escaped the craziness of Hollywood by moving to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the city where she died unexpectedly last week of sepsis.
"She was able to build a new identity for herself, one that was not built on show business or her stardom," Astin says.
The Oscar and Emmy winner became active in community theater, once even saving a local high school production. Astin remembers, "There was a time where the high school lead dropped out of the play and Mom caught wind of it because her neighbor's kid was directing the play. She went over, put on a wig and was the co-lead."
Summing up the impact Duke's work in Idaho had on her well-being, Astin says, "There is no moment on the silver screen that is more important than the time she spent on the community theater stage in Coeur d'Alene."