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.
"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."
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."
"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.'"
Read more celebrity reactions below:
I called her Anna. She was not only an icon, but a good friend. I'm devastated. RIPPattyDuke— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) March 29, 2016
I was encouraging her to do a Valley of the Dolls screening so I could interview her after. We never got to. I love you Anna. #RIPPattyDuke— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) March 29, 2016
I admired Patty Duke for her bravery & work on mental health issues. And, what an actress! Condolences to sons Sean , Kevin & Mackenzie— Larry King (@kingsthings) March 29, 2016
So sad to hear of @pattyduke_id's passing. She was a wonderful and talented person. I loved getting to work with her. XO— Chris Colfer (@chriscolfer) March 29, 2016
Rest with the Angels, Patty Duke. Thoughts and prayers are with all that love her.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 29, 2016
Patty Duke entertained millions, but also helped many seek help with mental health issues. Hers was a life well lived. #RIPPattyDuke— Sally Jessy Raphael (@SJRaphael) March 29, 2016