Adam Rich, the enchanting “America’s Little Brother” on “Eight is Enough” and a pageboy child actor, has passed away. At 54 years old, he was. According to Lt. Aimee Earl of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, Rich passed away on Saturday at his residence in the Brentwood district of Los Angeles. Investigations into the death’s cause revealed that it was not suspicious.
Rich had a short acting career; he made his playing debut at the age of 8 in the ABC blockbuster comedy-drama that aired from 1977 to 1981 as Nicholas Bradford, the youngest of eight children. Betty Buckley, who portrayed her stepmother on the programme, expressed her horror after learning about Rich’s passing on Instagram. Betty Buckley called Rich “the light,” her “young companion” on set, and friend ever since.
“I adored him and I loved working with him,” said Buckley, who posted photos of the show of the two together on a swing, on horseback and with his arm around him as he slept. “He was so sweet, funny, fresh and natural. He brought a lot of joy to us on the show and to our audience.” Rich’s public life after fame was similar to that of other child actors whose promising careers are then wiped out by drugs, alcohol and the law.
He nearly collided with a California Highway Patrol car parked in a lane that was closed for repair in 2002, leading to his arrest for DUI. He was detained in October of the same year for allegedly taking a syringe containing medication from a hospital where he was receiving treatment for a dislocated shoulder. He had been detained in April 1991 for reportedly attempting to break into a drugstore.
According to publicist Danny Deraney, Rich battled a kind of depression that defied therapy and made an effort to dispel the taboo around discussing mental illness. He experimented with many treatments throughout the years without any luck.
Deraney claimed that he and Rich’s friends had been worried recently when they couldn’t get in touch with him. According to Deraney, “He was simply a really lovely, kind, loving soul.” He didn’t necessarily want to become a well-known actor. He have zero ego. Zero. Rich opened up about his mental health on Twitter, noting in October that he had been sober for seven years. He said he wasn’t perfect – citing arrests, numerous stints in rehab, multiple overdoses and “countless detoxes (and) relapses” – and urged his nearly 19,000 followers not to never abandon.
“People aren’t made to endure mental illness,” Rich tweeted in September. “The mere fact that some people see them as weak or lacking in willpower is absolutely ridiculous…because it’s the complete opposite! It takes a very, very strong person…a warrior, if you will… to combat such diseases.
Rich posted a photo of himself in his prime with former child star Mickey Rooney.
“Everyone used to tell me, ‘You’re the modern day Mickey Rooney,'” he tweeted. “But when Mickey Rooney told me that himself, it meant so much more to me!”
Nearly 27 years ago, Rich participated in a prank created by Might magazine about the actor’s death during a 1996 robbery outside a Los Angeles nightclub. The little-known magazine article was intended as a satire of America’s celebrity obsession, but fell apart when it managed to expose the fake.
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