The cause of Adam Rich’s death has been determined. The Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s office concluded that Rich died on January 8 from the “effects of fentanyl.” His death was ruled an accident in the official report.
When his body was discovered in January of this year, Rich was just 54 years old. TMZ stated that law enforcement sources said there were no indicators of foul play at the scene where the actor’s body was found, despite the fact that his cause of death was officially ruled undetermined pending further investigation.
Rich played Nicholas Bradford, the youngest son of Tom Bradford (Dick Van Patten) and his wife (Diana Hyland), on the 1970s TV sitcom Eight Is Enough. The 1981 ABC series Code Red and the 1983 Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, in which he provided the voice of the young wizard Presto the Magician, were both highlights of his career.
Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion and An Eight Is Enough Wedding, both TV movies set in the 1980s, featured his acting talents as well. In an interview with PEOPLE, he quipped that he was “a lot less cute” now that he was 18 and the movies were in production.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Former Child Star Adam Rich’s Cause of Death Revealed https://t.co/JO5pJ49mRl
— E! News (@enews) June 24, 2023
In the days following the news of Rich’s death, his co-stars on Eight Is Enough expressed their sorrow and disclosed that they had maintained close ties with the former child star throughout their lives.
Willie Aames, who played Rich’s brother on the family show, wrote an emotional Facebook post about their friendship. “This morning [my wife] Winnie woke me with the heartbreaking news of Adam Rich’s passing,” he wrote. “I’m gutted. Adam was more than a colleague. He was very much my only little brother. A lifelong friend.”
Aames also said that, before his death, Rich was thinking about making a comeback to acting. “These last few years Adam had dreams of renewing his career. He was one of those kid actors that our generation will always remember.”
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Grant Goodeve, Rich’s co-star, told PEOPLE that being around Rich “inspired” him to start a family. “During Christmas week of 1977, my wife Debbie and I took Adam back to our family homes in Vermont,” he shared. “We had a great time and he was big hit with all our family and friends!” he continues.
“We also taught him to ski, which he picked up very quickly. We were so inspired by our time with Adam that Debbie and I decided we wanted to have children and we were married the next spring.“ On Instagram, Adam Rich’s on-screen stepmother Betty Buckley wrote, “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 really liked him, and it was fun to act opposite him on the show. He was charming, hilarious, spontaneous, and genuine. All of us on the show, and our viewers, had a great time thanks to him. Through the years, Adam and I have maintained our friendship. It has always meant a lot to me that he loves and supports me.
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