Former 'Eight is Enough' Star Adam Rich's Untimely Death: Fentanyl Blamed

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/25/2023
According to a report from the Los Angeles Medical Examiner's Office, former child star Adam Rich passed away in January as a result of the "effects of fentanyl." At the age of 54, the actor was discovered dead in his Los Angeles home on January 8. He was best known for his part in the ABC hit comedy-drama "Eight Is Enough."  The report listed a "accident" as Rich's cause of death. 

When Rich was chosen to play Nicholas Bradford in "Eight Is Enough," he was only 8 years old. In the five-season television series from 1977 to 1981, he portrayed the youngest of widower Tom Bradford's eight children. During his tenure on the show, Rich earned the moniker "America's Little Brother."

Dick Van Patten, Diana Hyland, Betty Buckley, Grant Goodeve, Lani O'Grady, Laurie Walters, Susan Richardson, Dianne Kay, Connie Newton, and Willie Aames also starred in "Eight is Enough."

Rich's other television credits included "Dungeons & Dragons," "Baywatch," "Small Wonder," "Gun Shy," "Code Red," and "CHiPs" in addition to "Eight Is Enough." In the TV spinoff films "Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion" from 1987 and "An Eight Is Enough Wedding" from 1989, he reprised his role as Nicolas.

Rich had avoided working in front of the camera in recent years. He last acted as himself in the 2003 movie "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" and in an episode of "Reel Comedy" where he played Crocodile Dundee. Rich has a history of arrests for DUI and attempted burglary.

Rich's agent Danny Deraney shared an emotional statement on Twitter informing followers of Rich's passing. "Adam was just a great guy. He was compassionate, giving, and a fighter against mental illness, according to Deraney. Adam possessed no ego at all. He was selfless and constantly thought about the people he cared about. Because of this, many people who shared his childhood experience a loss of a piece of their youth and sadness today," he continued.

He truly was Little Brother for America.

In addition to thanking the audience "for reaching out," Deraney added, "If you knew Adam, you just loved the guy. Oh, the tales he could spin.

After Rich's passing, Aames, who portrayed Tommy, Rich's older brother in "Eight Is Enough," posted a Facebook tribute to his late co-star.

In a post from January, Aames stated, "This morning [my wife] Winnie woke me with the heartbreaking news of Adam Rich's passing. I feel gutted. More than just a colleague, Adam was. He was really the only younger brother I had. a friend for life.

"Over the past few years, Adam had dreams of revitalizing his career," he continued. He was one of those young actors who will live on in the memory of our generation.

In "Eight Is Enough," Buckley played Rich's stepmother Abby. On Instagram, she shared a slideshow of pictures of the late actor with the cast and herself.

For the four seasons she had the good fortune to collaborate with him on "Eight Is Enough," she wrote, "Adam Rich was a light and my young pal." I adored him and enjoyed collaborating with him in our on-screen scenes. He was so endearing, humorous, young, and authentic. He made all of us on the show, as well as our viewers, very happy.

"All these years, Adam and I have remained friends," she continued. I have always valued his love and support greatly. The news of his passing that I learned this morning astounded me. I'm sending my condolences and my love to his friends and family. Adam has devoted himself in recent years to serving as an example for others who are struggling with mental and emotional illness. He's someone I'll miss a lot.

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