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Rebecca Schaeffer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (17)

Overview (4)

Born in Eugene, Oregon, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (homicide by gunshot)
Birth NameRebecca Lucile Schaeffer
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rebecca began modeling at the age of 16, going off to New York on her own to begin her career. Four months later, she found herself in Japan, modeling. Eventually, she landed a co-starring role on My Sister Sam (1986), for which she is now best known. In 1989 she also became a spokesperson for Thursday's Child, a charity for at-risk teens.

In April of that same year, having missed a signing due to filming, she reluctantly went to a girl's shelter to sign autographs. "No one will recognize me", she insisted, "or want my autograph," but as it turned out all of them did. In fact, the girls were so in awe that they invited her to the Renaissance Fair in May; Rebecca accepted.

Only two months later, she lay dead on the pavement in front of her new apartment in West Hollywood, having been shot to death by a paranoid schizophrenic fan around her age, Robert John Bardo, who came to her apartment asking for an autograph. She obliged, even though she was busy rehearsing in her apartment for the most important role of her short career. He later said he felt rejected by her because she didn't spend more time with him at her door.

He returned a few minutes later, pressed the buzzer, and when she again opened the door for him, he shot shot her once in the chest, placing the bullet directly into her heart. Rebecca screamed out, "Why?" then fell backward in the doorway, and was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai hospital within minutes of arriving there by ambulance after the shooting.

The killer fled to Tuscon, AZ, and the next morning the previously diagnosed "psychiatric patient", was found walking blindly, appearing to be hoping to be hit and killed by a car or truck on a major highway. He was subsequently arrested, transferred back to Los Angeles, and plea-bargained for a life sentence without the possibility of parole, with a then young assistant district attorney named Marcia Clark, who later became famous for her failed attempt to convict O.J. Simpson of murder. There was a trial by Judge that lasted a month, because the obsessed fan changed his mind about the plea bargain agreement, and pleaded an 'insanity defense'. He was found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Minerva Breanne Meybridge

Trivia (17)

Shot to death in Los Angeles, California at age 21. Her murderer, Robert John Bardo, was sentenced to life in prison.
Interred at Ahavai Sholom Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
Her stalking/murder shed light on the horrors that celebrities often face with deranged fans turned stalkers. Since her stalker was able to find out so much personal information about her, including her home address from DMV records, laws have been established to protect celebrities' private information.
As with John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman before him, Bardo, was found to have in his possession a copy of J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" at the time of his arrest.
Was dating Brad Silberling at the time of her death.
Three years before the murder, Robert Bardo began writing letters to Schaeffer.
Bardo also attempted to meet singers Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, but says he was most obsessed with Schaeffer. He once tried to sneak on to the studio lot to give her a stuffed teddy bear.
She was scheduled to audition for Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part III (1990) the morning she was murdered.
Lived with costar Pam Dawber and Dawber's actor husband Mark Harmon in Los Angeles after landing the role of Patti Russell on My Sister Sam (1986).
The movie Moonlight Mile (2002), written and directed by Brad Silberling, has taken the story from his own experiences as her former boyfriend.
Her murder helped lead to the classification of stalking as a felony in California. The law has since provided recourse for such celebrities as Madonna, Jeri Ryan and David Letterman.
Her killer was dressed as a flower delivery man when she was fatally shot once in the heart at the downstairs doorway of her apartment building.
Episode MacGyver: The Gun (1990) of the TV Series MacGyver (1985) was produced in reaction to her murder.
Died on the 5 year anniversary of the McDonald's massacre in San Ysidro, California.
The shooting of Rebecca was reported when actress Lynne Marta, who lived in the same apartment complex and on the same floor as Rebecca, heard the gunshot and called the police.
Robert John Bardo obtained her home address simply by paying a $1 fee at the DMV.
When asked for the motive of the murder, Bardo stated that he was disillusioned when he saw her appear in a sex scene, thereby destroying his fantasies of her "good girl" image.

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