CA, Los Angeles Adam Rich, who played “America’s younger brother” on Eight Is Enough and had a pageboy mop top, has passed away. He was 54.
Lt. Aimee Earl of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Coroner’s office reported that Rich passed away on Saturday at his residence in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Although the circumstances surrounding the death were being looked into, they did not appear to be suspicious.
After starring in the ABC popular dramedy from 1977 to 1981 as Nicholas Bradford, the youngest of eight children, at age 8, Rich’s acting career was brief. He sought help at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage after having many drug and alcohol-related run-ins with the law.
According to Rich’s publicist, he struggled with an untreatable kind of depression and fought to normalize conversations about mental health. Over the years he attempted several experimental treatments, all to no avail.
Deraney revealed that he and other Rich associates had been fretting over his disappearance in recent weeks. “He was simply a really nice, kind, loving soul,” Deraney told The Associated Press of their late friend.
In other words, “he had no ego, not an ounce of it,” and “being a renowned actor is not necessarily what he wanted to be.” In October, Rich revealed he had been clean for seven years on Twitter, opening out about his struggles with mental health.
Overdoses, arrests, and “countless detoxes (and) relapses” were all things he mentioned as evidence of his “imperfection,” after which he encouraged his almost 19,000 followers to keep going. Rich tweeted in September, “Human beings weren’t intended to tolerate mental illness.”
“It’s hilarious that there are folks who assume those are weak or lack willpower, but it’s actually the complete opposite! A person needs to be incredibly resilient — a warrior, if you will — to face such debilitating diseases head-on.”
When Rich was at the height of his fame, he shared a photo of himself with fellow child actor Mickey Rooney.
He retweeted, “Everyone used to tell me, ‘You are the current day Mickey Rooney. To paraphrase Mickey Rooney: “But when Mickey Rooney personally told me that, it meant a helluva a lot more to me!”
Almost 27 years ago, in 1996, Rich took part in a hoax that was published in Might magazine. The story claimed that the actor had been murdered during a heist outside a Los Angeles nightclub. When the spoof was exposed, the effect of the piece in the obscure magazine, which was meant to mock Americans’ fascination with celebrities, was muted at best.
“Possibly, we were trying to be too sneaky. The audience was not laughing, “Rich told the Chicago Tribune in retrospect. That’s the last thing I want to hear, “I don’t want to be dead.”
Rich, the mop-topped son of Dick Van Patten’s newspaper columnist character, who must raise eight children alone following the death of his wife in the program and the actress who played her during the first season, was the little brother to a generation of TV fans.
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Van Patten, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 86, reflected on working with his former TV son Adam in a vintage interview for the Archive of American Television. “Everyone seemed to like him. Because of him, they gave birth to a son and called him Nicholas.
He went on to say, “He was like 7 years old [when we started the program] and he was cute and he was a fantastic performer. He seemed to be himself pretty easily. Since his TV children are “scattered” around the country, Van Patten said that he called Rich and his other children “every once in a while.”
From The Love Boat to Fantasy Island to CHiPs to Silver Spoons to Baywatch, Rich kept performing over the years. The former Code Red star, who has been less visible in recent years, has still repeatedly utilized his fame to promote a better understanding of mental illness.
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Humans were not built to deal with mental illness. The actor from Dungeons and Dragons tweeted in September of 2022, “The very fact that some people perceive them to be weak, or have a lack of will is utterly comical because it’s the entire opposite.
” To overcome these kinds of diseases, you have to be a real fighter, someone with incredible strength and fortitude.
Later that year in December, it was revealed that dancer Stephen “Twitch” Boss had committed suicide at the age of 40, and Rich retweeted his message at that time. The only thing people with mental illness know how to do is to act like everything is fine, he tweeted at the time.
“Enough! People are dying because of the stigma. Be genuine. Acceptable or unacceptable; removing the stigma requires a decision. Regulate your reality.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 to anybody in the United States who is experiencing mental distress or who is having suicidal thoughts.