Where is Michael Tell, Patty Duke’s Husband Of 13 Days Today?

By Anuja Uprety | Published on: February 24, 2024 | Updated on: February 24, 2024
Facts checked by editors at A-List Arena
Table of Content Show

Michael Tell is recognized as the ex-husband of the late American actress and mental health advocate Patty Duke. Sadly, the couple’s marriage lasted just for 13 days, making several headlines all around at the time. So, why the newlywed duo separated only after two weeks of their nuptial?

Further, Michael became the center of media attention when the businessman was proven to be Patty’s son Sean Astin‘s biological father in the 90s. Since then, people are curious to know about Michael’s whereabouts. So, where is Tell today?

Key Takeaways:

  • Michael Tell, the ex-husband of the late actress Patty Duke, is an owner of a publishing company The Las Vegas Israelite. The company was founded by his parents in the early 60s.
  • He was in the music business but rose to fame following his marriage to Duke.
  • He was married to Patty from June 26 to July 9 of the year 1970. Their marriage lasted for just 13 days.
  • With his ex-wife Patty, Tell shared a son Sean Astin. But their relationship was identified only after a DNA test held when Sean was already 25 years old.
  • Michael is still alive and resides in Las Vegas, as per our knowledge.

Is Still Alive? If Yes, Where He Is Today?

Well, as far as the media is informed, Michael is still alive and living a healthy life. Talking about his whereabouts, he currently resides in Las Vegas, the United States of America.

On the other hand, his famous ex-wife Patty Duke died from a ruptured intestine at the age of 69. She passed away on March 29, 2016, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho of Sepsis. Her body was cremated and her ashes were stored at Forest Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene.

As of 2023, Tell is 77 years old

Patty Duke’s Ex-Husband Is An Owner Of A Publishing Company

After his parent’s death, Michael became the second generation of ownership of a publishing company, Las Vegas Israelite. Accompanying his father Jack since the age of 16, Tell worked in his dad’s short-lived venture Territorial Enterprise. Later, when his father started The Las Vegas Israelite, an English-language weekly newspaper reporting events of the Jewish community, he started working as a publisher and a writer in the newspaper.

But, he didn’t only stick to the family business but led his career to music as well.

Tell Is A Former Music Promoter

In the year 1961, Tell began his own business of concert promotions. To extend it, he launched his own nightclub named Twin Lakes Twist and worked together with era’s famous musicians Bobby Darin and Wayne Newton.

Later, he also opened a Michael Tell production company and moved it to Los Angeles following the success of the business. In one of the concerts, he was put at the gunpoint which made him leave his business in music and return to Israelite.

Comes From A Well-To-Do Family; His Parents

His father Jack Tell was a founder and editor of The Las Vegas Israelite. Before the St. John’s University graduate was an assistant to the photo editor for The New York Times from 1945 to 1955, Tell worked with Billboard magazine.

Further, Jack also served in the position of publicity director for Sullivan County, Atlantic City, and the New York Cardiac Center, the former Hershfield‐McCosker Home, in Yonkers.

Further, his mother Beatrice ‘Goldstein’ Tell, was a supervisor at the advertising department of The Las Vegas Israelite. Besides, she was a free press publisher and a rare coin and stamp dealer in San Diego. Born on August 25, 1914, Beatrice was the daughter of Charles Goldstein, a shoe store owner and his wife, Bessie

Matter of fact, Michael’s parents Jack and Bea tied the knot in 1936, and in 1961, the couple moved to Nevada along with their children and ran the enterprise, and a year later, they owned Israelite.

Michael’s Both Parents Are No Longer Alive

His dad Jack died of a serious illness at the age of 7o on August 26, 1979. Likewise, his mom Beatrice passed away in August 2000 following her long battle with kidney disease.

The ashes of both the husband and wife were interred in Woodland Cemetery.


He grew up together with his two brothers Donald Tell and Jay Tell in his hometown. He was 13 when he together with his family moved to Nevada where he spent his teenage years.

How Long Was Married to Patty Duke?

Michael and his then-wife Patty were only married for 13 days. They had a brief introduction before the two decided to tie the knot. The two first met in Patty’s Sierra Towers apartment when she was about to leave and Tell asked her if she could lend her apartment rent out for a switchboard operator.

Soon after, they started having frequent conversations with one another and just within a month, they decided to tie the knot. They got engaged two weeks before they walked down the aisle on June 26, 1970, at the Little Church of the West Las Vegas.

Michael with his then wife Patty
Michael and Patty were only married for about a couple of weeks.

But unfortunately, their union lasted for 13 days. On July 9, 1970, they officially separated and a year later, they annulled their relationship.

What Was The Reason Behind Their Short-Lived Marriage?

As per the late actress Patty’s autobiography Call Me Anna, it’s due to their different personalities which break their union in a short time. She has written that Michael was a lavish spender and after their marriage, Duke paid his gambling debt several times.

Michael’s Ex-Wife, Patty Married Four Times In Her Lifetime

While the information on Michael’s remarriage is unavailable, his ex-wife Patty married twice after their divorce. After Tell, she tied the knot with actor John Astin in 1973. John was her third husband with whom her marriage lasted up to 1985.

A year later, Duke walked down the aisle with Michael Pierce and remained with him until her death in 2016. Tell was her second spouse and before him, the Emmy award-winning actress was wife to an American film and tv director Harry Falk from 1965 to 1969.

Paternity Test Revealed That Is a Father to Sean Astin 

Michael’s former wife Patty had learned about her pregnancy before her marriage with Michael. It seems like they rush to tie a knot just to give a baby a father’s name. But shortly after, they split and less than a year later on 25 February 1971, Duke welcomed her son Sean, who now goes by the name Sean Astin, the husband of Christine Harrell.

Michael with his son Sean and Wife
Michael had a son named Sean with his ex-wife Patty.

At the time when Sean was conceived, the actress had a relationship with other men as well which created confusion on who exactly was Sean’s biological father. Later when Duke married John Astin, he legally accepted Sean as his child and gave his surname to him. When he was 14, Patty confessed to Astin that his father is not John but her former boyfriend Desi Arnaz Jr. Since then, Junior Astin pursued Desi and the two worked on their relationship.

Later in his mid-20s, Sean suddenly came in contact with Tell’s relative (his niece) who said that he is related to Michael which create further confusion. So, amidst the confusion, Sean decided to go for a paternity test and the result showed Michael as his biological father.

And Sean Astin; How Is Biological Father-Son’s Relationship?

Though the father-son duo get to know each other much later, Michael and Sean share a good relationship with each other. In this regard, Astin once told,

My biological father is Jewish and I never really knew him until I was 25 but then I did so he’s kind of an interesting and wonderful man who I’ve gotten to know over the last few years, so there’s kind of that strand.

Sean called Michael ‘Papa Mike’.

What Is Net Worth?

He is reported to have a net worth of $1 million. On the other hand, his famous ex-spouse Patty had an estimated net worth of $10 million at the time of her death in 2016. Meanwhile, his son Sean Astin who is a well-known actor, screenwriter, director, and producer owns a fortune of $10 million as of 2023.