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The Miracle Worker

keller anne patty gilbert

(NBC, 10/14/1979, 120 mins). Coming full circle, this television remake of the 1962 film tells once again about the relationship between young Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Patty Duke Astin, who won her Academy Award for playing Helen Keller in the earlier version, here is cast as Anne Sullivan and received an Emmy Award as Best Actress in a Limited Series or Drama Special. The film itself won the Emmy as Outstanding Drama Special, and so did Larry Germain and Donna Gilbert for their hairstyles. Melissa Gilbert also received an Emmy nomination as Best Actress (in competition with Astin), and Ted Voigtlander got one for his cinematography. “The Miracle Worker” originally was produced on TV and premiered on Playhouse 90 in February 1957, with Teresa Wright and Patty McCormack in the leads. It next was presented on Broadway, beginning in October 1959, with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke (later to become Patty Duke Astin) as the stars. They repeated their roles each winning an Oscar in the subsequent film version. All four productions were produced by Fred Coe, who died while this TV-movie adaptation was being filmed and to whom it was dedicated.

Production Companies Katz-Gallin Productions, Half Pint Enterprises. Director Paul Aaron. Executive Producers Raymond Katz, Sandy Gallin. Producer Fred Coe. Teleplay William Gibson. Based on the Play by William Gibson. Photography Ted Voigtlander. Music Billy Goldenberg. Editor Jerry Taylor. Art Director Kim Swados.

Cast Patty Duke Astin (Anne Sullivan), Melissa Gilbert (Helen Keller), Diana Muldaur (Kate Keller), Charles Siebert (Captain Keller), Anne Seymour (Aunt Ev), Stanley Wells (James Keller), Titos Vandis (Prof. Michael Anagos), Hilda Haynes (Vinnie/maid), Jonathan Gilbert (Jimmy), James Lee Canady (Servant).

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