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Night after night, Anna would convince people she was blind and deaf, acting alongside Anne Bancroft, and later Suzanne Pleshette.When the doors eventually closed for The Miracle Worker, the Rosss began looking for a play with a suitable role for Anna.Over the next few years Anna would appear along side some of the industries top performers such as Helen Hayes, Laurence Olivier, Gloria Vanderbilt and Richard Burton, among others.Her speaking voice was so good that she even played the part of the young British Catherine in During the next two years she was also featured in The 4D Man, starring Robert Lansing, Country Music Holiday, with Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Happy Anniversary where David Niven and Mitzi Gaynor played her parents.


The Dukes lived on a modest income, with John working several jobs, most frequently as a cab driver.But none of these roles in film would bring her to stardom the way the way the Broadway stage would.In the late 1950s, John Ross was looking through the theatrical magazine, Backstage, and spotted something about how a stage adaptation of the recent television hit, The Miracle Worker, about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, might soon occur.He watched his little girl brilliantly perform the role of Helen Keller on stage several times but because of his fear of interfering with her seemingly now-charming life, never did he go backstage.

Anna didnt start acting in The Miracle Worker until 1959, but it was around four years earlier, when her older brother, Raymond, was appearing in a play at the local YMCA, when talent managers John and Ethel Ross spotted him, thinking he had definite potential as an actor.

Even though nothing at this point was definite about this project, Ross made it his lifes work to train Anna for the part of the young blind and deaf Helen Keller.


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