Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tragic 80s child star stories...

It's All Saints Day, which is a Christian holiday.  Because we live in a very Catholic area, most Germans are off work today.  Bill is working because he's neither German nor Catholic.  I'm sitting here in my nightgown watching trashy exposes on YouTube.

I just watched a special about Dana Plato, who was a big star when I was growing up.  She was really cute when she was young and had tremendous presence on camera.  I loved watching her on Diff'rent Strokes with Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman.  Unfortunately, she had some pretty serious drug and alcohol problems.  In May 1999, Dana Plato died by her own hand, having overdosed.  She left a 14 year old son who would go on to commit suicide eleven years later.

Dana Plato wasn't the only child star to hit the skids.  Gary Coleman died in May 2010, a bitter, angry, broke man.  Adam Rich, who had played adorable Nicholas Bradford on Eight Is Enough,  would go on to develop serious drug problems that landed him in trouble.  Lani O'Grady played older sister Mary Bradford; she died in 2001 after having overdosed.  In 1983m O'Grady had also starred in The Kid With The Broken Halo with Coleman, whose career was still red hot at the time.

These are just a few kid stars from the 1980s whose lives turned out tragically.  If I wanted to, I could probably spend all morning researching and writing about young performers who ended up dying young or going broke.  It's really sad.

Not all child stars died young due to drinking or drug use.  Heather O' Rourke, the ethereal blonde child who had starred in Poltergeist and popularized the phrase "They're heeerre." died at age 12 due to an intestinal obstruction.  Dominique Dunne, a talented young woman who played the older sister in Poltergeist, died at age 22 at the hands of her ex boyfriend, John Thomas Sweeney.  Alexa Kenin, who had been in Pretty In Pink and guest starred on many 80s era sitcoms, died at age 23.  The official cause of her death was never released, but it's been widely speculated that she was murdered by an ex boyfriend.


Dana Plato sings...


Heather O'Rourke and Judith Barsi.  Barsi died at age 10, along with her mother.  She was murdered by her father.


Dominique Dunne's dad talks about his late daughter.

I don't know why this is on my mind this morning.  Maybe it's because time seems to be rushing by and I'm starting to get old.  These folks were my contemporaries and I remember being very young and admiring them.  When it comes to fame and fortune, I suppose one should be careful what one wishes for.  At least as far as I know, none of the actresses from The Facts of Life met an early demise.

The sun is coming out and I probably ought to walk the dogs so neither of them poops in the house.  Gosh, I lead an exciting life.  I'm glad we're going to be traveling soon so I'll have more writing to do.

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