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Sean Astin Remembers His Late Mother Patty Duke: We Celebrate Her ‘Infinite Love’

Always in their hearts. Sean Astin paid tribute to his late mother, Patty Duke, via Facebook on Tuesday, March 29.

Hours earlier, the legendary Oscar-winning actress (full name: Anna Marie Pearce Duke) died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at the age of 69.

Mackenzie Astin, Patty Duke, and Sean Astin in 2004. Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

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“I love you mom,” Astin, 45, wrote on his personal page. He also posted a throwback photo of Duke holding him as a baby and released a family statement.

“This morning, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch and the exquisite artist, humanitarian, and champion for mental health, Anna PATTY DUKE Pearce, closed her eyes, quieted her pain and ascended to a beautiful place,” the statement read. “We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life.”

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Other stars, including Melissa Gilbert, have also spoken out about the late star. Gilbert and Duke both played Helen Keller in different projects. Duke first portrayed the activist in the 1962 film The Miracle Worker. The Little House on the Prairie alum played Keller in the 1979 TV movie of the same name.

“Anna was my dear friend, teacher, and a second mother. Her passing leaves a huge hole in my heart. She helped raise me to be the woman I am today. She was so loved by so many people including me,” Gilbert, 51, told Us Weekly in a statement. “She inspired me to be a better actor, a better mother and a better person. She was an advocate and activist, and my mentor. I was just so lucky to have known her for almost 40 years. She loved people ferociously and adored her family. I was blessed be a part of that.”

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“Today, my heart aches for her big beautiful family, but I know she’s in a better place,” she continued. “I will miss her every day but I will find comfort in the words of Helen Keller, ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched-they must be felt with the heart.'”

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