"The Miracle Worker" is a series of plays that dramatize the life and education of Helen Keller, a deaf and blind girl frustrated by her inability to communicate with others and often lashes out violently. With the help of her tutor Anne Sullivan, Keller became the first deaf/blind person to earn a bachelor of the arts degree.
William Gibson wrote "The Miracle Worker, adapted from Helen Keller's autobiography "The Story of My Life." The title of the play came from the author Mark Twain, who described Anne Sullivan as a miracle worker. The play tells the tale of how Anne Sullivan teaches deaf and blind Keller to read, write and express herself. Keller would go on to become a prolific author, successful lecturer and avid political activist.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared her birthday as Helen Keller Day. Gibson's script has been adapted numerous times in various mediums. Initially, "The Miracle Worker" was part of the television anthology series "Playhouse 90." The play ran on Broadway in 1959 and starred Anne Bancroft as Sullivan.
Bancroft reprised her role in the play's first movie adaptation in 1962, and her performance won her the Oscar for Best Actress. Patty Duke, who portrayed Keller in the film, won Best Supporting Actress. The film version received nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Black-and-White Costume Design. Patty Duke eventually got the chance to play Sullivan in the 1979 movie of the same name, which got a made-for-TV sequel titled "The Miracle Continues."