William J. Jankowski interview on The Jim Masters Show LIVE! entertainment, lifestyle, talk show series with award-winning television, radio, multimedia personality, host, journalist Jim Masters as Jim welcomes William to the show as his special guest. William Jankowski is co-author of legendary actress Patty Duke’s final book, “In the Presence of Greatness: My Sixty-Year Journey as an Actress” William became fascinated with Patty Duke when he would watch her on reruns of The Patty Duke Show at the age of eight. Soon after, he began collecting any film or television program in which she was featured. Ten years later, he met Duke and a close friendship began that would last eighteen years. Since receiving his degree from Widener University, he has been interviewed for such publications as USA Today, and consulted on biographical television specials about Duke’s work for A&E, ABC, Lifetime, and E! In addition, he wrote the speech given about Duke when she received her star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as her final biography for Playbill magazine. He also served as associate producer for a gala tribute to Duke in San Francisco. This is his first book. Patty Duke was an American actress and mental health advocate. Over the course of her acting career, she was the recipient of an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, eleven Emmy nominations, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At age 15, Duke portrayed Helen Keller in the film The Miracle Worker (1962), a role she had originated on Broadway. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. The following year, she played the dual role of “identical cousins” Cathy and Patty Lane on her own show The Patty Duke Show (1963–1966).As identical cousins on The Patty Duke Show, her name became an American household word. Her later work in Valley of the Dolls, Me, Natalie, My Sweet Charlie, a later television remake of The Miracle Worker, and dozens of other productions established her as one of America’s leading actresses. .She progressed to more mature roles, such as Neely O’Hara in the film Valley of the Dolls (1967) and Natalie Miller in the film Me, Natalie (1969). The latter earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. From 1985 to 1988, she served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. Following her diagnosis, she devoted much of her time to advocating for and educating the public on mental health. She was also an occasional singer and author. In her two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness, she detailed her struggle with bipolar disorder, becoming an advocate to those with mental illness. Patty Duke passed away in 2016 at the age of sixty-nine leaving behind an extraordinary show business legacy.The Miracle Worker. The Patty Duke Show.Valley of the Dolls. Those perennial film and television titles still reverberate with audiences entranced with Academy Award-winning film actress and Broadway and television icon Patty Duke. Patty’s previous autobiographical works, Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness, achieved New York Times bestseller status. Now, her indelible show business legacy echoes enduringly with untold stories of her six-decade career and the legends of her time, including Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Helen Hayes, Fred Astaire, Anne Bancroft, Judy Garland, President John F. Kennedy, Helen Keller, Margaret Cho, Garth Brooks, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lucille Ball, Darren Criss, Richard Crenna, Patricia Neal, Liza Minnelli, and Helen Hunt. For the first time, Patty also talks openly of her friendship with actress Sharon Tate and her grisly murder at the hands of Charles Manson. William and Patty were very good friends, despite our 32 year age difference, After befriending her when he was only 18 they become so close over the years that they eventually wrote a book together about her six decade career in show business. Unfortunately, it wasn’t published until two years after her death, but William says he knows she’d love the finished product of In the Presence of Greatness: My Sixty-Year Journey as an Actress. Illustrated with over 70 rare photos from both Patty Duke’s career and personal life, many never before published and from her personal collection. Enjoy this episode of The Jim Masters Show LIVE! series. Share this link with your friends!
I did this interview a few weeks ago. I think the writer did a fine job!
Here is an excerpt from the interview.
An interview I recently did with Closer about Anna and the book is in stores now!