The only child of Jozsef Barsi and Maria Benko, Judith Eva Barsi beat 10,000 to 1 odds when she was discovered at a San Fernando Valley skating rink at 5 1/2 years old in 1983. She was mistaken for a three year old child. Her first commercial was for Donald Duck Orange Juice and she went on to appear in anywhere between 50-100 commercials, several episodes of various TV series and 3 major motion pictures. Her mother, Maria, was the main thrust of her career as a Hollywood starlet, but also took great pains in trying to give her a normal, happy childhood, bringing her Hungarian meals like duck to school for her lunch everyday. Her happy childhood did not last long, however. Beginning in 1985, Jozsef would often be home drunk rather than working his job as a plumber and he refused to let Maria work. The family was put on welfare for a brief period of time as a result, until Judith's career started taking off in 1986 and 1987. By the time she entered fourth grade, she was pulling in an estimated $100,000 a year and the income bought them a nice four bedroom house on a quiet street in West Hill. As her career soared, her father became an increasingly abusive recluse and threatened to kill his wife and daughter hundreds of times. In a mood of stress, Judith plucked out her eyebrows, eyelashes, her cats' whiskers and bit her nails. CPS was called in numerous times, but as Maria was reluctant to press any charges and as a lot of the reports/accounts were emotional and not physical abuse, the case was never followed up on.
On Wednesday, July 27th, Eunice Daly, a next door neighbor, heard a loud bang next door while watering her plants; the house had been set afire and later, the bodies of the Barsis were discovered shot dead. All of Judith's toys that were not destroyed by the fire were given to the local goodwill and her best friend continued to feed her cats for months afterward.
Shot to death along with her mother at a tender age of 10 by her father, who then shot himself to death.
Buried along with her mother, Maria, in unmarked graves on August 9, 1988 at Forest Lawn Cemetery at Hollywood Hills, California.
Her father, Jozsef Barsi, and mother, Maria Benko, were both Hungarian immigrants.
She provided the voice for Anne-Marie in the animated movie All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989). The movie was released nearly a year and a half after her tragic death.
Appeared in 72 TV commercials; including Toys 'R' Us, Top Ramen, Campbell's Soup, & Jif peanut butter, among others.
While filming a commercial for Campbell's Tomato Soup, she had to do so many takes that afterwards she never ate tomato soup again.
Due to her unusually short height, she received hormone injections (she was only 3' 8" at age 10)
Was making upwards of $100,000 a year by 1985 at age 7. The income allowed her and family to move to a three bedroom house in Canoga Park on a quiet street.
Marker was added to Judith's and her mother's plot on Monday, August 23, 2004. Marker reads, "In memory of the lovely Judith Eva Barsi 1978-1988 'Our Concrete Angel' Yep! Yep! Yep!"
Her favorite role was Ducky in The Land Before Time (1988).
Attended Nevada Avenue Elementary School.
Loved to swim, play outside in her best friend's sprinkler, and loved to play the Milton Bradley game "Operation" no matter how badly she often did.
The song "Love Survives" used in the end credits of All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) was dedicated to her as a final gift and farewell to her from the film's cast and crew.
Spoke fluent Hungarian
She had missed an audition with Hanna Barbera for a role in an upcoming TV cartoon series on Monday, July 25, 1988. She was found dead in her home 2 days later.
Wanted to continue to be a voice actress on into adulthood. She adored her experiences working with Don Bluth in two of his films and wanted to continue working with him on future projects.
Had 5 cats
Wore her own swimsuit in the movie Jaws: The Revenge (1987).
Weighed 5 lbs 6.98 oz at birth. (2.58456 kg).
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