Child Actors Who Sadly Passed Away

by cjwhite-31645 | created - 9 months ago | updated - 9 months ago | Public

1. Judith Barsi

Actress | The Land Before Time

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 age 5 1/2 in 1983 and mistaken for a three-year-old. Her first commercial was for Donald Duck Orange Juice and she went on to appear in anywhere ...

2. Gary Coleman

Actor | Diff'rent Strokes

Without a doubt Gary Coleman was THE child TV star of the late 1970s and early 1980s. A refreshingly confident little tyke with sparkling dark, saucer-like eyes and an ingratiating, take-on-anyone burst of personality, the boy charmed the pants right off of TV viewers the minute he was glimpsed in ...

3. Corey Haim

Actor | The Lost Boys

Corey Haim was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Judy Haim, an Israeli-born data processor, and Bernie Haim, a clothing sales representative. He has a sister, Carol, and a half-brother, Daniel. His family is Jewish. He was raised mostly in Willowdale.

Corey appeared in 26 episodes of the early 1980s ...

4. Michelle Thomas

Actress | The Young and the Restless

Michelle Thomas was born in Boston but raised in New York and New Jersey. She attended the Montclair School of Arts and the Broadway Dance Center. She is survived by her parents, Phynjuar Thomas (a stage actress and acting coach) and Dennis D.T. Thomas (a founder and current member of the 1970s ...

5. Matthew Garber

Actor | Mary Poppins

Matthew Garber was a British child actor. Both of his parents were theatrical actors, but neither was particularly famous.

In 1963, Garber came to the attention of actor Roy Dotrice (father of Karen Dotrice) who was seeking potential child actors. Roy recommended Garber to the casting department of ...

6. Sawyer Sweeten

Actor | Everybody Loves Raymond

Sawyer Sweeten was born on May 12, 1995 in Brownwood, Texas, USA as Sawyer Storm Sweeten. He was an actor, known for Everybody Loves Raymond (1996), Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002) and Even Stevens (2000). He died on April 23, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

7. River Phoenix

Actor | My Own Private Idaho

River Phoenix was born River Jude Bottom in Madras, Oregon. His mother, Arlyn (Dunetz), a Bronx-born secretary, and his father, John Bottom, a carpenter, met in California in 1968. They worked as itinerant fruit pickers, and later joined the Children of God religious group (John was originally ...

8. Dana Plato

Actress | Diff'rent Strokes

Dana Michelle Plato was born in Maywood, California, on Saturday, November 7, 1964. Her first excursion into the film world occurred when she was 11 in the television film Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (1975). Dana never made an impact on the TV screen until she landed the role of Kimberly Drummond ...

9. Heather O'Rourke

Actress | Poltergeist

Heather Michele O'Rourke was born on December 27, 1975 in Santee, San Diego, California, to Kathleen, a seamstress, and Michael O'Rourke, a construction worker. She had German, Danish, English, and Irish ancestry.

Heather entered American cinematic pop-culture before first grade. She was sitting ...

10. Dominique Dunne

Actress | Poltergeist

Dominique Dunne was born to a life of privilege in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Ellen Beatriz Griffin Dunne and Dominick Dunne, a producer, actor, and writer. Actor Griffin Dunne is her brother. After her parents' divorce, she moved first to New York, and then to a posh home in Beverly...

11. Lee Thompson Young

Actor | Friday Night Lights

Lee Thompson Young was born as the son of Velma Love and Tommy Scott Young. When he was in second grade his parents split up and he went to live with his mother. At age ten, he portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King in a play called "A Night of Stars and Dreams". That's when Lee decided he wanted to be ...

12. Robert Knox

Actor | Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Son of Colin and Sally Knox. Brother of Jamie Knox.

Stabbed to death in bar brawl in London on 24 May 2008, while protecting his 16-year-old brother, four days after his last scene on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was shot. His attacker was convicted of his murder on 4 March 2009.

13. Brittany Murphy

Actress | Just Married

Brittany Murphy was born Brittany Anne Bertolotti on November 10, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Sharon Kathleen Murphy and Angelo Joseph Bertolotti. Her father's ancestry is Italian, and her mother is of Irish and Slovak descent. Her father moved the family back to Edison, New Jersey as a native New...

14. Skye McCole Bartusiak

Actress | Don't Say a Word

Skye McCole Bartusiak was born on September 28, 1992 in Houston, Texas, USA. She was an actress and producer, known for Don't Say a Word (2001), The Patriot (2000) and Love Comes Softly (2003). She died on July 19, 2014 in Houston.

15. Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer

Actor | Rushin' Ballet

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer was born on August 7, 1927 in Paris, Illinois, USA as Carl Dean Switzer. He was an actor, known for Rushin' Ballet (1937), Feed 'em and Weep (1938) and Johnny Doughboy (1942). He was married to Dian Collingwood. He died on January 21, 1959 in Mission Hills, California, USA.

16. Christopher Pettiet

Actor | Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Born in Plano, Texas, Christopher Pettiet began career as a child actor making appearances in television series, made-for-television movies and films. He starred in two hit flicks, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991) and Point Break (1991), and then joined the cast of the Western TV series ...

17. J. Madison Wright

Actress | Earth 2

Jessica Madison Wright was born in Cincinnati on July 29th 1984, the eldest of four children. A pretty youngster who enjoyed dressing up and was very much a 'girlie' child, Madison began modeling at the age of five. Her interest in modeling and acting - something she shared with her younger sister ...

18. Brad Renfro

Actor | Apt Pupil

Brad Renfro was born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Angela Denise McCrory and Mark Renfro, a factory worker. He was discovered at age 10 by director Joel Schumacher and was cast in the motion picture The Client (1994), which starred Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Although this ...

19. Bridget Anderson

Actress | Apocalypse A-Go-Go

Bridget Anderson is an actress and casting director, known for Apocalypse A-Go-Go, The Rabbit (2018) and The Drinking Gourd (2018).

20. Justin Pierce

Actor | Kids

Born in London, England to a Welsh mother and an Australian father, Justin Charles Pierce was raised in the Marble Hill section of Manhattan, New York City. He attended P.S. 7 in the Bronx for Elementary School and J.H.S. 141 in the Riverdale section of the Bronx for Junior High School. Pierce's ...

21. Ashleigh Aston Moore

Actress | Now and Then

Ashleigh Ashton Moore was born as Ashley Rogers on September 30, 1981. Her parents were Cynthia Moore, a CNA (Certified nursing assistant) and James Moore, who wasn't around for much of her life. She attended a private school in Sunnyvale until third grade when she left to spend full time on her ...

22. Nikita Waligwa

Actress | Queen of Katwe

Nikita Waligwa was born in 2004 in Uganda as Nikita Pearl Waligwa. She was an actress, known for Queen of Katwe (2016). She died on February 15, 2020 in Naalya, Kampala, Uganda.

23. Cameron Boyce

Actor | Mrs. Fletcher

Cameron Boyce was an American actor, with Afro-Caribbean and African-American descent. His paternal grandmother Jo Ann Allen was one of the "Clinton Twelve", the first African-Americans to attend an integrated high school in the Southern United States (specifically in Clinton, Tennessee).

In 1999, ...

24. Anton Yelchin

Actor | Star Trek

Anton Yelchin was an American actor, known for playing Bobby in Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Chekov in the Star Trek (2009) reboot, Charlie Brewster in the Fright Night (2011) remake, and Jacob in Like Crazy (2011).

He was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, USSR, to a Jewish family. His ...

25. Jonathan Brandis

Actor | Seaquest DSV

Born in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, to Greg and Mary, Jonathan Brandis began his career at age 5, acting in several television commercials. He also appeared in small parts in several films and TV shows before his first starring role in the 1990 film The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990). ...

26. Michelle Risi

Actress | Goosebumps

Michelle Risi died at age 16 of meningitis. She was on her way to a promising acting career. Michelle had worked with actors such as Neve Campbell, Harland Williams, Katey Sagal and Salma Hayek. Her parents divorced when she was very young and her mother remarried and changed Michelle's last name ...

27. Bobby Driscoll

Actor | Peter Pan

Bobby Driscoll was a natural-born actor. Discovered by chance at the age of five-and-a-half in a barber shop in Altadena, CA. and then convincing in anything he ever undertook on the movie screen and on television throughout his career spanning 17 years (1943-1960). Includes such notable movie ...

28. Josh Ryan Evans

Actor | Passions

Despite being one of the smallest actors in Hollywood at 37 inches, Josh proved quality early on in life. By creating and distributing his own business cards before he was even a teenager, Josh landed a spot on "The Dancing Baby" ice cream commercial, which led to his role in Baby Geniuses (1999), ...

29. Dana Hill

Actress | National Lampoon's European Vacation

Dana Hill was born Dana Lynne Goetz on May 6, 1964, in a suburb of Los Angeles, to parents Sandy Hill and Ted Goetz, a commercial director. Despite diabetes ending a promising future in athletics when she was just ten years old, Dana gamely threw herself into acting when still in her early teen ...

30. Rusty Hamer

Actor | Make Room for Daddy

A deadpan, freckle-faced, curly red-haired, highly talented child actor of the late 50s, Rusty Hamer entered films and TV at age 5 and became a precocious TV celebrity the very next year, trading clever quips with volatile top comedian Danny Thomas as his smart-alecky son, Rusty Williams, on the ...

31. Tara Correa-McMullen

Actress | Rebound

Tara Correa-McMullen was born on May 24, 1989 in Westminster, Vermont, USA as Shalvah McMullen. She was an actress, known for Rebound (2005), Judging Amy (1999) and Zoey 101 (2005). She died on October 21, 2005 in Inglewood, California, USA.

32. Scotty Beckett

Actor | A Date with Judy

Scotty Beckett was one of the cutest, most successful child actors of the 1930s and 1940s. His descent into a life of alcoholism, drugs, and crime remains one of the most tragic of Hollywood stories.

Born Scott Hastings Beckett on October 4, 1929, in Oakland, California, he and his family moved to ...

33. Anissa Jones

Actress | To Rome with Love

Anissa Jones was born on March 11, 1958 in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA as Mary Anissa Jones. She was an actress, known for To Rome with Love (1969), The Trouble with Girls (1969) and Family Affair (1966). She died on August 28, 1976 in Oceanside, California, USA.

34. Lucille Ricksen

Actress | Judgment of the Storm

Lucille Ricksen was born Ingeborg Erickson on August 22, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois. She worked a child model and made her film debut at the age of five. Her parents separated and her mother took her to Hollywood in 1920. Ten year old Lucille was offered a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and starred ...

35. Norman 'Chubby' Chaney

Actor | Love Business

Norman 'Chubby' Chaney was born on October 18, 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Norman Myers Chaney. He was an actor, known for Love Business (1931), Pups Is Pups (1930) and Shivering Shakespeare (1930). He died on May 29, 1936 in Baltimore.

36. Michael Cuccione

Actor | 2gether

Michael James Cuccione was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada on January 5th, 1985, to Domenic and Gloria Cuccione. In 1994, when he was only 9 years old, he was diagnosed with 2A Hodgkin's Disease. He recovered from two bouts of the cancer, but was left with permanent damage to and around ...

37. Billy 'Froggy' Laughlin

Actor | Rover's Big Chance

His mother enrolled him in a dramatic class to overcome his self-consciousness. His gravel voice was exploited by an MGM talent scout. After his test and positive public reaction he was signed to a term contract to Our Gang. His favorite sport was bicycling. After Our Gang was over, Froggy was ...

38. Dorothy Dell

Actress | Little Miss Marker

Dorothy Dell was born to Elbert and Lillan Goff in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on January 30, 1915. She won the most beautiful baby in Hattiesburg beauty contest when she was thirteen months old. She lived in New Orleans from the age of ten. She attended the Sophie Wright High School for girls. ...

39. Sammi Kane Kraft

Actress | Bad News Bears

Sammi Kane Kraft was born on April 2, 1992 in Livingston, New Jersey, USA. She was an actress, known for Bad News Bears (2005) and Today (1952). She died on October 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

40. Johnny Lewis

Actor | AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the middle of three siblings, Johnny began performing from the age of 5 at a small performing arts school, making his debut as a Chanukah candle.

Pursuing the acting profession, he appeared with success in many TV and film projects, handling both drama and...

41. Paul Walker

Actor | The Fast and the Furious

Paul William Walker IV was born in Glendale, California. He grew up together with his brothers, Caleb and Cody, and sisters, Ashlie and Amie. Their parents, Paul William Walker III, a sewer contractor, and Cheryl (Crabtree) Walker, a model, separated around September 2004. His grandfather, William ...



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