Local fans of the television show “Glee” will see a familiar face on screen.
Patty Duke, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress who has called Coeur d’Alene home since the late 1980s, will guest star, along with Meredith Baxter, in the season 4 finale on Thursday night.
Duke, who goes by her married name Anna Pearce off stage, is of course no stranger to television. “The Patty Duke Show” aired for three seasons, from 1963-66, and she has dozens of TV shows to her credit. Of late, however, she hasn’t done a ton of television.
She jumped at the chance to do “Glee,” she said recently.
“Honest to goodness, it was like stepping into Wonderland,” she said. “You keep seeing all these kids that you’ve seen on TV going by. Some are rushing to dance rehearsal. Others are prerecording the songs they’re going to sing. Others are at wardrobe fittings. I’m telling you. How do they keep all those tops spinning. I was in awe.”
Of course, this being “Glee,” one has to ask: Does Duke get to do any singing or dancing?
“I hope not,” she said with a laugh. “Not in this episode. There are rumors that Meredith and I will be in the next season, but they are just that, rumors.”
Duke plays Jan, who runs a jewelry store with her longtime partner, played by Baxter. They counsel one of the “Glee” characters who wants to get engaged.
Duke added that she and her husband, Mike, have always appreciated how “Glee” has helped kids who are different learn they have a place in the world.
“I could tell the moment I stepped out of the production van that I was in a rarified atmosphere,” she said.
Is this an experience she would repeat?
“And repeat, and repeat and repeat,” she said. “I don’t work that often anymore, I must confess I was very nervous. Darren (Criss, who plays Blaine) … he took me under his wing and helped me feel so comfortable. It was just what I needed.”