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Former Child Star, Adam Rich of 'Eight Is Enough' Fame Dead at 54

Former Child Star, Adam Rich of ‘Eight Is Enough’ Fame Dead at 54

Adam Rich and Dick Van Patten (1987) Image: NBC Archives
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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Former child actor Adam Rich died Saturday (January 7) at his home in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Medical Examiner confirmed the news of his death, but no cause was given. He was 54.

TMZ reports that Rich was found “lifeless” at his home, according to a family member and that law enforcement sources added his death was not foul play with no signs of criminal activity.

Born in Los Angeles in October 1968, Rich played the youngest child on the ABC TV show Eight Is Enough for five seasons. The series starred Dick Van Patten as the widowed father of eight children. Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame, was also a part of the original cast.

Rich was a two-time winner and three-time nominee at the Young Artists Awards during the show’s run and received a nod in the category of Best Juvenile Actor in a TV Series or Special in 1980 and won the award for Best Young Actor in a TV Series in 1981.

He began his acting career in high school and appeared in The Six Million Man, Code Red, CBC Children’s Mystery Theatre, Fantasy Island, Bayway, Silver Spoons, Small Wonder, and others throughout his career. He was also a voice actor in the 1983 Dungeons & Dragons series.

After he retired from acting and the limelight in the 80s, he struggled during his later years, suffering a Valium overdose in 1989. He was arrested in 1991 for breaking into a pharmacy to obtain drugs. His TV dad, Van Patten, bailed him out of jail. Ultimately, he had several trips to rehab before his final arrest in 2002 for driving under the influence.

Several child stars posted tributes to Rich on social media upon hearing the news of his death, including Todd Bridges (Diff’rent Strokes), Corey Feldman, Chad Lowe, and Jill Whelan (Love Boat), among others.


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