Adam Rich, a child star on ABC’s “Eight Is Enough,” died at the age of 54.
Rich died Saturday in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Brentwood, according to Lt. Aimee Earl of the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner Coroner’s office. The reason of death was being investigated, although it was not thought to be suspicious.
Rich’s publicist, Danny Deraney, praised Rich as “just a beautiful person” in a statement.
“He was compassionate, generous, and a warrior in the battle against mental illness,” Deraney wrote on Twitter. “Adam lacked any sort of ego. He was selfless and always looked out for people he loved. As a result, many people who grew up with him mourn the loss of a part of their childhood.”
“He truly was America’s Little Brother,” Rich’s spokesman stated.
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According to a family member, TMZ was the first to reveal Rich’s death.
Rich, according to Deraney, suffered from a kind of depression that resisted therapy and had attempted to remove the stigma associated with discussing mental illness. He has remained sober despite fruitless attempts at experimental remedies throughout the years.
Deraney said he and others close to Rich were concerned when they couldn’t reach him in recent weeks.
Rich rose to fame as the youngest son Nicholas Bradford on “Eight Is Enough” from 1977 to 1981, and was recognised for his broad grin and pageboy haircut. The drama centred around Dick Van Patten, who played a newspaper columnist and father of eight children (based by the life of journalist Tom Braden, who died in 2009).
Rich has also been in shows such as “Code Red,” “Dungeons & Dragons,” “Baywatch,” and others. In 2003, he appeared briefly in David Spade’s film “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.”
Rich’s most recent tweet was a retweet of his own September piece about mental health. “Humans were not designed to deal with mental illness. The fact that some people regard those as weak or lacking in willpower is completely absurd… because the contrary is true! “He put pen to paper. “It takes a very, very strong individual to face such afflictions… a warrior, if you will.”
In response to the December death of DJ and dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss, he also tweeted the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number 988. “The only thing people suffering from mental illnesses know how to do is appear to be fine,” Rich wrote on Twitter. “Enough! People are dying as a result of the stigma. Be true to yourself. The only way to create change and stomp the stigma is to be okay, or not okay! Heal yourself!”
Rich has legal problems his entire life. According to authorities, he was detained and suspected of pocketing a drug-filled syringe at a Los Angeles hospital where he was being treated for a dislocated shoulder in October 1991.
Van Patten, Rich’s TV father, posted bail after he was charged in the pharmacy break-in.
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Rich is accused of breaking the store windows of a West Hills pharmacy in April 1991. According to prosecutors, he intended to steal morphine.
Rich also appeared in Beverly Hills Municipal Court in October 1991 on accusations of allegedly violating the terms of a previous drunken driving conviction, according to Deputy District Attorney Mark Vezzani at the time.