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Posts Tagged ‘Anne Bancroft’

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller

While I was in Northern Alabama this week I was looking at a map of things of special interest in the area and discovered that Helen Keller was born Tuscumbia, Alabama. Among her many accomplishments, Keller was the first deaf blind person to graduate from college when she earned her degree from Radcliffe College in 1904.

She wrote her first book, The Story of My Life, when she was just 12. Productions based on the book were the film, play, and TV programs The Miracle Worker. The play version premiered on Broadway in 1959 and won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1960. The 1962 film version won two Academy Awards—one for Patty Duke as Keller and one for Anne Bancroft as Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan. (Mark Twain used the phrase “the miracle worker” to describe Sullivan’s work with Keller.)

William Gibson (1914-2008) wrote the play  (for which he also won a Tony for Best Author—Dramatic) as well as the film and the Playhouse 90 TV versions.

This may not be the inclusive list but here’s what I’ve come up with various productions about Helen Keller extraordinary life.

Deliverance (1919)

The Unconquered (1954) Documentary

The Miracle Worker (1957) Playhouse 90

The Miracle Worker (1962) 

The Miracle Worker (1979) TV Movie

Disney’s The Miracle Worker (2000) TV Movie

P.S. If you’re ever in Tuscumbia you can visit Helen Keller’s birthplace Ivy Green.

Scott W. Smith

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