Lifetime’s critically acclaimed hit series, Drop Dead Diva, is back for a fourth season on Sundays at 9/8c. The legendary Patty Duke (The Patty Duke Show, Valley of the Dolls),, part of the industry since 1958, guest stars on the series as Rita Curtis. She took part in a recentQ&A to discuss her character and what it is like to be Patty Duke. She is happy to be a part of the series because “It’s so much fun, and I discovered new things about the role as we went along.
Patty enjoyed the cast, and after fifty five years of working in this industry, she enjoyed the camaraderie on the set. There was not one person onset who was not gracious and kind.” She found star Brooke Elliott to have a great sense of humor. Patty had a blast on the set and really enjoyed working with her. “She’s brilliant and very loving, honest to God. I was just thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these people.”
Patty’s favorite moment working on the set involved even involved Brooke. “Oddly enough, it was the scene where Brooke has to go through pages and pages of lawyer stuff, and I felt that I was being transported by this creature who could not only remember all the words, but deliver them with such energy and intelligence.”
Patty enjoyed the role mainly for the comedic purposes. “Laughter is crucial to me.” That was one of the main reasons she accepted the role of Rita. She loves dramatic roles, but finds “comedy much harder than drama, but I’ll do both.” She is incredibly versatile and thrives off the energy of others. She also realized there is quite a bit of her character Rita in her.
A role that Patty still wants to conquer is Mary Lincoln, “The timing is perfect. I am now a year away and getting ready for the process to play Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. First we’ll play it in the museum in Illinois, and then at the Ford Theater.” She has missed her chance to play Mary Lincoln in the past and will not let the role slip away this time around.
Patty has done so much in her career with film and television and would love to be a part of the television show, Big Bang Theory. “I would feel that I’d died and went to heaven if I could get the part of Memaw on the Big Bang Theory.” Patty’s work with Richard Crenna has been some of her favorite work. “His work ethic, his sense of humor and grace … he’s gone seven years now but I still think of him and miss him.”
If you are looking for acting advice, Patty is certainly an amazing candidate to pass that along. “We have to be realistic; you should definitely have a day or night job. It’s very hard to be realistic when your passion is so great and you know in your heart that you do this play or film. It is one of the toughest industries to be a part of.”
Patty recently decided it was time to join the social networks. “I’m astonished at the speed the information is exchanged.” She is happy to be able to keep in touch with her fanbase and a new generation of fans. Patty discussed her proudest moment in regard to her career. “I guess I would have to say Miracle Worker and Birdbath, which was done on public television and written by Leonard Malfee.”
Patty’s amazing career continues. She is a legend who holds a special place in so many of our hearts. Be sure to watch her on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, Sundays at 9/8c. And as Patty says, “the last to laugh is to live.”