Doll-A-Day 2023 #136: Patty Duke

   Today’s doll may or may not be Patty Duke, but I’m pretty sure she is.

  I discovered this doll while digging around in a box of about a zillion Horsman Mary Poppins dolls and lookalikes that were brought out of the Room of Water. I had no idea who she was, so I started researching. She’s a Horsman doll, because she’s marked with an H. But the only doll I could find that she seemed she might be, was Patty Duke.

Her legs and arms ‘can bend and pose in teen-age manner’. I know mine sure can’t any more!

   For those of you who are too young, let me explain who Patty Duke was, and why there would be a doll of her. Patty Duke, also known as Patty Duke Astin, was an actress, (and mother of Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin).She was born Anna Marie Duke, in 1946. After becoming the youngest person to win an Oscar in a competitive category, (as opposed to the Juvenile Oscar), for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker”, Duke starred in her own TV series, at the age of 17. The show lasted for three years, from 1963 to 1966, and was called, (oddly enough), The Patty Duke Show. Patty played a teenager in Brooklyn, named Patty, as well as Patty’s ‘identical cousin’, Cathy, who came to live with Patty and her family. The character of Patty was, well, a character, always getting herself into a jam of some sort. Cathy was a serious, studious type with a British accent. The personalities of the two were represented by their differences in hair styles and clothing. (Plus it made them easy to tell apart, since they were played by the same actress.) Patty had a flip hairstyle, usually with bangs, and frequently wore head bands and capri trousers. Cathy had a hairstyle that flipped under, with no bangs, and she usually wore skirts or dresses. The whole thing about identical cousins has become a classic joke, and the theme song, and the show itself, are still fun. You can watch the show HERE

Patty as Patty, (left), and Cathy,(right).

The show was popular, and there was a Patty Duke board game, Whitman books, paper dolls, colouring book, and not one, but two Patty Duke dolls. The other one, called “Go Go with Patty Duke’, was also made by Horsman, but had a totally different head sculpt. During the run of the show, Patty even had two hit records.

  But back to this doll. The problem with my theory though was that the Patty Duke doll had bangs, and this doll doesn’t. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean anything though, because many times the short hair that makes up the bangs gets combed back so much it gets mixed in with the longer hair until it can’t even be noticed any more. That’s when you need to dig through the long hair and find the short hair, and reweave the bangs back out. I HATE reweaving hair. I have rewoven the parts in doll hair many times. It requires a needle and a fine tooth comb, and it takes ages. Let me reiterate: I HATE IT. So even though I dug around and found some short hairs that might be bangs length, I decided that I was not going to try to sort the rest out. I combed the hair back and just pulled back the top and sides like they would have originally been on the Patty Duke doll. 

  Originally the hair would have been bangs, with a rooted part between the bangs and the back portion, and layered hair in back. I think some of the shorter layer in back was used to somehow puff the pulled back part from underneath, to give it a teased look.

And all of it was very curly. This girl has lost her curl, and I’m definitely not the one to give it back to her. But I’m sure she can be rehabilitated by somebody.

  She does have a very weird hairline in front, but she’s not missing any plugs.

  Even though she doesn’t have bangs, (not that are visible at least), this has to be Patty Duke, because I can’t find any other Horsman doll with this face, this colouring, and bendable arms and legs. 

She has blue eyes with three side lashes, and orangey red lips.

And this doll does have bendable arms and legs.

Ken wanted to know if she had an Excedrin headache.

They’re the kind with wires inside, rather than click bend or hinge jointed legs. (Not that there were very many hinge jointed dolls back when this doll was made, in 1965.) Her neck, arms, and legs are jointed and can move the usual ways too. 

And like all the Horsman dolls like this, and their clones, and even Ideal’s Tammy, she has little baby hands, instead of more mature lady hands. 

Oh, and a great big head.

  That’s the doll for today.

  See you again tomorrow.