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10 Child Actors Who Died Shockingly Young

Updated on August 23, 2014

Dana Hill (1964-1996)

Dana Hill was in several films and television shows including National Lampoon's Vacation and she was also a voice actor.
Dana Hill was in several films and television shows including National Lampoon's Vacation and she was also a voice actor. | Source

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Dana Hill

Dana Hill is best known for playing Audrey Griswald in National Lampoon's Vacation, Combat Academy, Crooss Creek and Shoot the Moon. Other than film she appeared in several episodes of various sitcoms and drama TV shows. Hill also was a voice actress who did lots of cartoon voices including Scrappy the Mouse on Mighty Mouse cartoons. She could act and comedy was her calling.

Miss Hill seemed to be a really sweet girl and she was an excellent actress. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Stroke resulting from complications with Type 1 Diabetes. (Age: 32)

Heather O' Rourke (1975-1988)

Heather O' Rourke is best known for starring in Poltergeist parts 1,2 and 3.
Heather O' Rourke is best known for starring in Poltergeist parts 1,2 and 3. | Source

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Heather O' Rourke

Heather O' Rourke has appeared in commercials but she is most famous for playing Carol Anne in the three Poltergeist movies. She was on Happy Days for a season also. For a young child she was a fantastic actor and she would definitely have gone far in the business.

O' Rourke was an innocent young girl and it's so sad to know she passed on. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Septic Shock and Heart Attack caused by an intestinal stenosis. (Age:12)

River Phoenix (1970-1993)

River Phoenix has been in lots of movies including Stand by Me which propelled him to stardom.
River Phoenix has been in lots of movies including Stand by Me which propelled him to stardom. | Source

River Phoenix

River Phoenix is famous for being a teen heart throb if you will. His movie and TV series total is 24. Phoenix is best known for starring in Stand by Me, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Running on Empty, My Own Private Idaho and Dark Blood. He was a super talented actor and he would have been a pure legend on the scree had he not passed away so far before his time.

Mr. Phoenix was a fine actor without a doubt and it's a shame the world lost him so soon. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: A deadly drug combination caused heart failure. (Age: 23)

Sammy Kane Kraft (1992-2012)

Sammy Krane Kraft was in a few films including Bad News Bears and she was also a star athlete in women's baseball.
Sammy Krane Kraft was in a few films including Bad News Bears and she was also a star athlete in women's baseball. | Source

Birthplace of Sammy Kane Kraft (Livingston, NJ)

Sammi Kane Kraft

Sammy Kane Kraft was a known baseball player who went to the Jr. Olympics and was even featured in ESPN The Magazine. Her film and television credits include: Bad News Bears most famously but also several episodes of shows on TV. She was a tireless worker and she always seemed to be beaming.

Kraft had a long career ahead of her in sports and on television. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Killed in three automobile crash. (Age: 20)

Corey Haim (1971-2010)

Corey Haim was on lots of films during his young years including License To Drive and The Lost Boys.
Corey Haim was on lots of films during his young years including License To Drive and The Lost Boys. | Source

Corey Haim's best Movies

The Lost Boys
License to Drive
Lucas
The Backlot Murders
Silver Bullet
Fast Getaway
The Watchers
Dream a little Dream
Blown Away
 
Lost Boys: The Tribe
 
Ten of Corey Haim's top films.

Corey Haim

Corey Haim was another teen idol and he is known for many roles in film. His biggest film credits include: License to Drive, The Lost Boys, Silver Bullet, Lucas, Fast Getaway and Last Resort. Hasim even had a short lived reality show on A & E. Haim is probably the biggest name on this list and that's because he was always in films,television shows, magazine covers and on MTV,etc.

Mr. Haim was a very likable guy, always smiling and funny. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Pneumonia (Age: 38)

Jaws 4 Movie Trailer

Judith Barsi (1978-1988)

The clip above shows Judith Barsi in a Lay's Potato Chips commercial. She appeared in Jaws 4: The Revenge not long before her horrific murder.
The clip above shows Judith Barsi in a Lay's Potato Chips commercial. She appeared in Jaws 4: The Revenge not long before her horrific murder. | Source

Judith Barsi

Judith Barsi had lots of appearances on sitcoms such as Growing Pains and she made a few television movies but she is most famous for roles in Jaws 4, The Land Before Time and All Dogs go to Heaven.

What can I say? The girl was only ten. What a shame. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Homicide- Killed by her father who killed her, her mother and then himself all by gun shot. (Age: 10)

Gary Coleman Video

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman has had roles in films, commercials and tv shows but he is best known obviously for his starring role in Diff' rent Strokes which he appeared in for 8 years. He was in lots of television films and made cameos constantly. Everyone new him well and it's hard to imagine him gone.

Mr. Coleman is a staple of television history and it's sad to see him gone. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Epidural Hematoma (Age: 42)

Dana Plato (1964-1999)

Dana Plato was most known for playing Kimberly in the sitcom called Different Strokes.  Her career spanned commercials, theatre, television and movies.
Dana Plato was most known for playing Kimberly in the sitcom called Different Strokes. Her career spanned commercials, theatre, television and movies. | Source

Dana Plato

Dana Plato is best known as Kimberly Drummond on Diff' Rent Strokes which aired 8 seasons. Plato did commercials and a couple of movies and she also starred in the controversial video game entitled Night Trap in which she became to first live actor in a video game.

Miss Plato will be sorely missed and television will always be missing something without her. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Multidrug Intoxication of Soma and Loritab pills. (Age: 34)

Ladybugs Movie Trailer

Jonathan Brandis (1976-2003)

Jonathan Brandis has been in movies and on television including starring in the film called Ladybugs.
Jonathan Brandis has been in movies and on television including starring in the film called Ladybugs. | Source

Jonathan Brandis

Jonathan Brandis stars with Rodney Dangerfield in the hit comedy Lady Bugs. Besides that movie and commercials galore, Brandis was in Stephen King's It, The Never Ending Story 2 and Sidekicks with the legendary Chuck Norris (Great Film). Brandis was emerging as a talented and versatile young actor before he did the unthinkable.

Mr. Brandis was too young to leave us and he had so much more to give us. R.I.P,

Cause of Death: Hung Himself with Rope. (Age: 27)

Lee Thompson Young (1984-2013)

Lee Thompson Young played in Friday Night Lights and he was on the rise at the time of his death.
Lee Thompson Young played in Friday Night Lights and he was on the rise at the time of his death. | Source

Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young is known for several film roles (Friday Night Lights ), and television roles (Rizzoli and Isles and The Famous Jett Jackson.) He has been a regular on Disney and his star was really shining bright at the time of his unfortunate death.

Mr. Young left us all far too early and we will mourn his passing. R.I.P.

Cause of Death: Suicide by gunshot to the head. (Age: 29)

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    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Wonder hub. I enjoyed it. How sad that being famous does not always mean being happy

    • thepoen profile image

      Irfan Fahrudin 2 years ago

      Good and useful information hub.

    • Emilynicoley profile image

      Emily 2 years ago from Virginia

      Crazy all of these stories! Sad too!!

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 2 years ago from Northeast United States

      I was shocked to hear that Jonathan Brandis was gone ! :( I never heard of his passing until now. I wondered where he went; I thought he had just stopped acting. Taking his own life is such a tragedy. God bless their souls.

    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 2 years ago from Alabama

      I know...It's hard to believe he is gone.

    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Shocked Dana Hill is gone. I never knew that!

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 23 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thanks for bringing us such in-depth information on the deaths of these stars.. I was shocked to find that I did not even know many of them were dead. Thanks again. Well written hub. Voting it up.

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