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The Miracle Worker is a 1979 American made-for-television biopic based on the 1959 play of the same title by William Gibson, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90. Gibson's original source material was The Story of My Life, the 1902 autobiography of Helen Keller. The play was adapted for the screen before, in 1962.

The Miracle Worker
Based onThe Miracle Worker
by William Gibson
Screenplay byWilliam Gibson
Directed byPaul Aaron
StarringMelissa Gilbert
Patty Duke
Charles Siebert
Stanley Wells
Diana Muldaur
Music byBilly Goldenberg
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Sandy Gallin
Raymond Katz
Producer(s)Fred Coe
Barbara Abeles Cowan (associate producer)
Alan David (assistant producer)
CinematographyTed Voigtlander
Editor(s)Gerald Lee Taylor
Running time98 minutes
Production company(s)Half-Pint Productions
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 14, 1979 (1979-10-14)

The film is based on the life of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan's struggles to teaching her. It starred Patty Duke (who played Helen Keller in the original 1962 film, for which she won the Oscar) as Annie Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller. It produced a TV sequels, Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues in 1984.


Young Helen Keller (Melissa Gilbert), blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan (Patty Duke) to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate.


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