R.I.P. Adam Rich, former child star of Eight Is Enough

R.I.P. Adam Rich
R.I.P. Adam Rich

Adam Rich

Adam Rich, the former child star who played youngest sibling Nicholas Bradford on the ’70s sitcom Eight Is Enough, died at his home on Saturday, per the Associated Press. He was 54 years old.

Best known for his role on ABC’s Eight Is Enough, Rich also made appearances on other television series throughout the ’80s and ’90s, including The Love Boat, The Six Million Dollar Man, St. Elsewhere, and Baywatch. His last major role occurred in 2003, when he played himself in the David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

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Rich suffered from addiction issues that contributed to legal trouble over the years, including an arrest in 1991 for attempting to break into a pharmacy, per the AP. He was open about his experiences with mental illness; publicist Danny Deraney told the outlet that the actor’s depression “defied treatment.”

“Adam was simply a wonderful guy. He was kind, generous and a warrior in the fight against mental illness,” Deraney shared in a statement posted to Twitter. “Adam did not have an ounce of ego. He was unselfish and always looked out for those he cared about. Which is why many people who grew up with him feel a part of their childhood gone, and sad today. He really was Americas Little Brother.”

Rich’s television brother Willie Aames posted his own remembrance to Facebook (per People), writing, “This morning [my wife] Winnie woke me with the heartbreaking news of Adam Rich’s passing. I’m gutted. Adam was more than a colleague. He was very much my only little brother. A lifelong friend.”

“These last few years Adam had dreams of renewing his career. He was one of those kid actors that our generation will always remember. I can’t tell you how many parents have told me they named their first child ‘Nicolas’ after his Eight Is Enough character,” Aames wrote. “The diminishing fraternity of kids that grew up in the golden years of family television has lost another of our own. I will miss him deeply. Rest ‘A.R.’ You were the cutest TV kid of them all.”

Betty Buckley, who played the Bradfords’ stepmother on Eight Is Enough, also posted a tribute to her co-star. “Adam Rich was a light and my young pal for the four seasons I was blessed to work with him on Eight Is Enough. I adored him and loved working with him in our scenes together on the show. He was so sweet, funny, fresh and natural,” she shared in an Instagram post.

“He brought a lot of joy to all of us on the show and to our audiences,” Buckley continued. “Adam and I have remained friends all of these years. His love and support have always meant a lot to me. I am shocked by the news I received this morning of his death. Sending my love and deepest condolences to his friends and family. In recent years Adam dedicated himself to providing inspiration for others with mental and emotional illness. I will miss him greatly.”

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