For “Eight is Enough” fans, the news of Adam Rich’s sudden passing is tragic. Rich was most known for playing Nicholas, the youngest Bradford kid, in the television series. Regrettably, he is not the only member of the ensemble to have passed away. Join FactsVerse as we explore the circumstances behind the deaths of Adam Rich and other stars of the popular television series “Eight is Enough.”
About his death
According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Coroner’s Office, Rich passed away on Saturday in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Even though the death’s cause is still being looked into, it hasn’t been deemed suspicious. The Associated Press was informed by Deraney, Rich’s publicist, that Rich battled a debilitating form of depression and had made an effort to remove the stigma associated with discussing mental illness. Rich shared information about his mental health on Twitter and revealed that he had been sober for seven years in October. He admitted that he wasn’t flawless, citing arrests, several stays in rehab, multiple overdoses, and “countless rehabs (and) relapses,” and he implored his nearly 19,000 followers to never give up. Prior to his untimely demise, Adam devoted himself to serving as an example for people who struggle with emotional and mental diseases. Over the years, he tried numerous experimental treatments without success while maintaining his sobriety. He died at the age of 54.
His adventure with legal issues
In his 20s, Adam struggled with depression and was frequently plagued by legal issues involving drugs and alcohol. In October 1991, he was accused of stealing a drug-filled syringe from a Los Angeles hospital where he was receiving treatment for a dislocated shoulder. Several months earlier, in April 1991, he is said to have shattered the store windows of a drugstore that was located in West Hills. Authorities claimed that he intended to steal morphine.
Later in October 1991, according to Deputy District Attorney Mark Vezzani at the time, Rich was charged with allegedly breaking the terms of a prior DUI conviction and made an appearance in Beverly Hills Municipal Court. He was put on five years of probation after pleading guilty to his first offense of drunk driving, but he failed to show that he had completed the program that was required of him. Throughout his life, he received drug addiction treatment multiple times, including a spell at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California.
He was also charged with DUI in 2002 after almost colliding with a California Highway Patrol vehicle that was stopped in a lane of a motorway that was being repaired at the time.
In a statement, his publicist described Rich as being an overall lovely person. He went on to call him generous, kind, and a fighter against mental illness. He concluded by referring to Rich as America’s younger sibling. Deraney also revealed that he and Rich’s friends had been concerned recently when they couldn’t get in touch with him.
On Instagram, Betty Buckley, who played Nicholas Bradford’s stepmother Abby Bradford in “Eight Is Enough,” posted a lengthy and sentimental remembrance of her “little companion.” It appears that the two have remained close throughout the years. She praised Rich in her message and gushed about how much she enjoyed acting alongside him in their on-screen scenes. She went on to say that he was charming, humorous, original, and genuine.
Other industry professionals who paid tribute to Rich on social media included actor and director Jay Duplass, writer Steven Rowley, comedian-actor John Fugelsang, Todd Bridges from “Diff’rent Strokes,” and Lydia Cornell from “Too Close for Comfort.”
OTHER CAST MEMBERS DEATH
Richard Vincent Van Patten
Richard Vincent Van Patten, who was born on December 9, 1928, was a television staple in the United States for eight decades. He also dabbled in comedy, business, and animal welfare advocacy. His most famous role was as Tom Bradford, the patriarch of the Bradford family, in the ABC sitcom Eight Is Enough. Later, he would appear as a lead or supporting actor in numerous feature films, such as Charly, Soylent Green, and Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Spaceballs. He also founded National Guide Dog Month and Natural Balance Pet Foods. Patten battled diabetes at certain points in his life. In the early months of 2006, he experienced a diabetic stroke and was rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Patten was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes but eventually overcame his illness. On November 20, 1985, a “Star of Television” symbol was placed at 1515 North Vine Street to commemorate Van Patten on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Later, in January 2008, Palm Springs honored Patten’s contributions to the entertainment industry, with a star on the Walk of Stars. The following year, Van Patten and Robert Baer wrote a book titled Eighty Is Not Enough!, which was released by Phoenix Books. In it, Van Patten reflected on his eight decades in the entertainment world and shared stories and observations from his time there. On June 23, 2015, Van Patten, who was 86 years old, passed away at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. The reported cause was diabetes-related complications.
He was a bright, jovial person, always generous and eager to play, tease, and constantly keep everyone smiling. He was the epitome of professionalism, an excellent actor, a comedic master, and a nice and compassionate person.
He is buried in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills’ Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Hyland was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, to parents John Theodore and Mary Gentner, as Diane Gentner. In 1955, at the age of 19, she appeared in an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents, which was her first job in the acting industry. She frequently made guest and supporting appearances in a number of television series over the following ten years, including , The Fugitive Eleventh Hour, Naked City, The Invaders, and The Twilight Zone. She was also cast in the 1966 motion picture The Chase, starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, and Robert Redford. She starred in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” a 1976 television film, for which she received a posthumous Emmy Award. She co-starred in the television series Eight Is Enough the following year with Dick Van Patten, but she only made an appearance in four of the episodes before passing away. Her character, Joan Bradford, was also written off as having passed away. In 1977, Hyland received a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequently had a mastectomy. However, her health later declined as the malignancy spread. She passed away on March 27, 1977, in Los Angeles, at the age of 41.
American actress and talent manager Lani O’Grady was born Lanita Rose Agrati on October 2, 1954. Her most well-known performance was as Mary Bradford, the oldest sister, in the television series Eight Is Enough. At the age of 13, O’Grady made his acting debut in a scene from The High Chaparral, a TV show. In the 1990 soap opera Days of Our Lives, she played Mrs. Kramer in her final acting performance. O’Grady gave up acting and switched to being a talent agent in the early 1990s after experiencing agoraphobia and memory loss. Also, she started taking non-narcotic medications for a recognized chemical imbalance in her brain. In a 1994 Los Angeles Times interview, O’Grady revealed that she had panic attacks beginning when she was 18 years old, but wasn’t diagnosed with panic disorder until she was 21 years old. She also acknowledged abusing alcohol and prescription medications, including Valium. She checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Thalians Mental Health Division in December 1998 to undergo detoxification. 46-year-old O’Grady passed away on September 25, 2001, in her trailer home in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office claimed that she died of multiple drug toxicity after an autopsy confirmed dangerous concentrations of the painkiller Vicodin and the antidepressant Prozac in her bloodstream. However, the coroner was unable to determine whether she committed suicide or died in an accident.
Michael Thoma, an actor and professor, portrayed Tom Bradford’s best friend, Dr. Greg Maxwell, in “Eight is Enough” for 23 episodes. Among his classmates at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts were Grace Kelly and Don Rickles. Later, he pursued a career on Broadway while continuing to teach at the Academy. When “Eight is Enough” finished its network run, Thoma enjoyed a recurring role on “Fame” as theater instructor Mr. Crandall. He also worked as production supervisor or stage manager for several significant shows, including the original runs of “Oh! Calcutta!” and “Bye Bye Birdie.” On September 3, 1982, Thoma, who left the Fame series amid a two-year battle with cancer, passed away because of the illness. He was 55 years old.
James Karen was an American actor who appeared on Broadway, in movies, and on television. He was born Jacob Karnofsky and passed away on October 23, 2018. Karen is well known for his parts in Poltergeist, The Return of the Living Dead , Wall Street, The China Syndrome, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Invaders from Mars. Karen is also known for playing Eliot Randolph, Tom Bradford’s employer, on the television series “Eight Is Enough.” Some contend that he was best known as the signature pitchman for Pathmark, starring in advertisements for the now-defunct East Coast grocery store chain from the late 1970s, which gave him the nickname “Mr. Pathmark.” He was married to folk singer-actress Susan Reed, with whom he had a son named Reed. Karen passed away at the age of 94 at his Los Angeles residence.
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