Published/Performed: 1903 (play performed Oct 19, 1959 - Jul 1, 1961)
Author: Helen Keller
Born: Jun 27, 1880 Tuscumbia, Alabama
Passed: Jun 1, 1968 Arcan Ridge, Easton, CT
Film: The Miracle Worker
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.
The Story of My Life, first published in 1903, is Helen Keller's autobiography detailing her early life, especially her experiences with Anne Sullivan. Portions of it were adapted by William Gibson for a 1957 Playhouse 90 production, a 1959 Broadway play, a 1962 Hollywood feature film, and a 2005 Indian film.
The play premiered on Broadway at the Playhouse Theatre on October 19, 1959 and closed on July 1, 1961 after 719 performances. The production was directed by Arthur Penn with scenic and lighting design by George Jenkins and costumes by Ruth Morley. The cast starred Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller. Featured in the cast were Torin Thatcher as Captain Keller, Patricia Neal as Kate Keller, Michael Constantine as Anagnos and Beah Richards as Viney. Patty Duke remained with the play for its entire run. Suzanne Pleshette eventually replaced Anne Bancroft.
Gibson, Penn, Bancroft, and Duke reunited for a highly acclaimed 1962 film adaptation. Gibson and Penn were nominated for Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Penn for Best Director, and both Bancroft (portraying Sullivan) and Duke (portraying Keller) won the Academy Award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. The play has also been adapted for TV twice, first in 1979 on NBC with Duke as Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert as Keller, and again in 2000 on ABC (as part of The Wonderful World of Disney).Read article at Wikipedia