Anna's Almosts
  What could have been, but never was...




The following is a list of projects that Anna could have been involved in but never worked out.

Some are from television, others from film, music and print.

"An Evening With Patty Duke" was announced in the early 1970s.  It was to be an anthology series hosted by Anna in which she would play different parts each week, a la Loretta Young.  The idea was eventually shelved.

Anna auditioned for the plum part of Disney's 1960's Pollyanna but lost the part to
Haley Mills, who would win the last given "Kid's Oscar" for her performance.

Anna, along with such other well-known talents as Kurt Russell,
Richard Dreyfuss and Mia Farrow auditioned to be some of the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music.  Unknown actors were eventually cast in the roles in this

Best Picture winner of 1965 which starred Julie Andrews.

Anna was offered the part of Anne "Mrs. Robinson" Bancroft's daughter in
The Graduate, but turned it down because she did not want to work at the time.  Katharine Ross wound up doing it and earned an Oscar nomination for her performance.


I Never Promised You a Rose Garden The part of the mentally disturbed lead character was offered to Anna in the late 1960s.  She turned it down because she wanted to be married and not work at the time.  Many years later, Kathleen Quinlan did the job, after several other actresses, including Natalie Wood.

Phillip and Barbara Anna and John Astin shot this television pilot that eventually aired on NBC in 1975 but it was never picked up as a series.

Ladies of Larabee This 1979 filmed ten-minute pilot starring Anna as a dorm mother at an all girls' boarding school was not bought by NBC.  It was later turned into "The Facts of Life" with Charlotte Rae in the role and would run for eight years.  Anna's son, Mackenzie, would one day join the cast.

Soapdish Anna was announced for the lead part in this comedy about a zany soap opera star--a role that was actually written with Anna in mind.  No word as to why, but Sally Field was ultimately cast in the part in this 1990 feature


One Red Rose For Christmas Anna co-starred with Helen Hayes in the 1958 and 1959 live television versions on "The US Steel Hour".  She was in negotiations in 1997 to play the part Hayes originated, but the project never worked out.

Reel To Reel was a game show produced by the PAX network during the network's 1998-99 debut season.  Anna was confirmed as an early guest on this show that tested celebrities'-- as well as everyday citizens'--knowledge of film.  Anna had to eventually pass on the project in order to star in her reunion film.

The New Patty Duke Show planned to have Anna and the cast from the 1999 television reunion movie, The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights, reprise their roles in a weekly series.  The ratings for the movie were not as high as everyone had hoped, so the idea for this series was eventually discarded.

In 1998, Anna had hoped that she and Richard Crenna might get together soon for another TV movie.  Nothing ever came of it and Crenna passed away from cancer in early 2003.

"Our Town" Anna was to star as Stage Manager in this Spokane Civic Theatre production of her favorite play.  She later had to exit the project due to a conflicting schedule with her TV movie, Love Lessons.

My Sweet Charlie Though Anna did turn in an Emmy-winning performance in the 1969 television version, she was offered the part of Marlene Chambers in the Broadway stage version
in 1967.  Due to her time in a mental hospital for her then undiagnosed illness, Anna had to back out of the part.  It was eventually given to Bonnie Bedelia instead.  The play flopped, but the movie soared to the top of the ratings.

Patty Duke Folk Album In early 1968, Anna recorded what was to be her last record for United Artists.  She recorded twelve songs in all, including "Puff the Magic Dragon," "Blowin' in the Wind," and
"The Cruel War."  Only two of the songs, "Dona Dona" and "And We Were Strangers" were ever released (on a 45 album, not an LP).  She also performed these two songs on a 1968 appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show".  Two years prior to recording this album, she sung "The Cruel War" live on "The Merv Griffin Show" and in 1972, sang "Blowin' in the Wind" over the opening and closing credits of her television film, "Deadly Harvest."

"Awake and Sing!"  In 2002, Anna was signed to do a stage reading of this play on Broadway at the American Airlines Theater.  The rights could not be bought, so instead, Anna and Marissa Tomei performed "The Glass Menagerie" to a sold-out theater in 1999.

Patty Duke's Northwest Pit Stop Guide  In her 1992 book, A Brilliant Madness, Anna mentioned that this would be her next book as she considered herself an expert of certain locations, after having traveled so much.  So far, there is no word of the book ever being written or published.

In 1997, Anna mentioned that she'd like to write a book on aging in Hollywood.  She was inspired one day to write this when she was sitting on a bench at a local mall and a grandmother of a little girl whispered, "That's Patty Duke, from 'The Patty Duke Show' that you watch on Nick at Nite!"  She took one
look at Anna and said, "What happened to her, Grandma?"  In response, Anna said: "I think there's a book in there somewhere!"


"The Paisley Convertible" is a play Anna was slated to do in Chicago in 1970 but was fired during the rehearsals.  This was around the time she found out she was pregnant with Sean.

A Patch of Blue Anna was offered the lead part of a blind girl, opposite Sidney Poitier and Shelley Winters, who falls in love with an African-American man.  Anna's managers, John and Ethel Ross, did not want her to take the part because they felt that playing a blind person so close to the time she portrayed Helen Keller would stereotype her for future roles.  Elizabeth Hartman played the part and earned an Academy Award nomination for her effort.

The Diary of Anne Frank The 1998 traveling company of the hit Broadway show wanted Anna to tour with them as Mrs. Van Daam, however, Anna did not want to leave home for that long of a time.

Tugboat Annie  In the early 1970s, newspapers announced that Anna would star as this heroine in a weekly television series, but the project eventually fizzled.

In the 1970s, Anna was supposed to do a bio-pic based on the life of Janis Joplin.  This never happened but in the last year of the decade, the thinly disguised Joplin biography, "The Rose" was released with Bette Midler in the lead.

In the 1990s, Anna was suggested to play Jean Neidich, the founder of Weight Watchers, but nothing ever came of it.

In the early 1990s, Anna was asked to star in a Canadian stage production of "Anne of Green Gables" but wasn't interested. 


Anna was to star in the movie, Sterile Cuckoo.  The part eventually went to Liza Minnelli.


Anna was originally the first choice for the role of Sister Bertrille in 1967's The Flying Nun.  The role later went to Sally Field.


Anna auditioned for the lead role in 1976's Sybil, although was not cast due to a clash with the director.  Daniel Petrie later signed on to direct, but Sally Field had already accepted the role.


Anna was offered a role in CBS's new 2003 drama, Cold Case, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.  She would have played the role of Sister Vivian, a 70-year-old nun.


Anna was up for the role of Amanda in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" that was to run at the Kennedy Center in 2004.  The role instead went to Sally Field.


Anna was considered for the role of Capt. Kathryn Janeway in 1995's Star Trek: Voyager.  For reasons unknown, the role went to Kate Mulgrew.  Other actresses who were also considered include Geneviève Bujold, Erin Gray, Nicola Bryant, Joanna Cassidy, Linda Hamilton, Carolyn McCormick, and Lindsay Wager.


In January, 2004, Anna was up for a guest-starring role on NBC's drama, Law & Order.  However, she had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.


After Anna took on the role of Mama Rose for the Spokane Civic Theatre's production of "Gypsy," there was talk of her replacing Bernadette Peters in the Broadway production.  Unfortunately, the show's producers announced that it will close due to a loss of investors' money. 


Anna was slated to star as Golda Meir in the national tour of "Golda's Balcony."  Unfortunately, the role later went to Valerie Harper.


Anna was slated to star as Audrey in both the play and movie entitled "Together Again for the First Time."


Anna was up for the role of Mama Rose in the Bucks County Playhouse production of "Gypsy."  Ironically, the theatre had rented the same costumes from the company that provided them for the Spokane Civic Theatre production in which Anna starred!


In August, 2008, Anna filmed a pilot with Lolita Davidovitch entitled Throwing Stones.  Unfortunately, it was not picked up by the Canadian channel CBC, supposedly because they could not find a suitable time slot.


If you know of any additional "Anna's Almosts" please let us know via email