Former child star Adam Rich has reportedly died. He was 54.
The Eight Is Enough alum was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Saturday, January 7, according to a TMZ report that cited a family member.
A cause of death has not been announced at the time of publication.
Rich rose to fame as a child actor, notably playing youngest Bradford child Nicholas on the sitcom Eight Is Enough. The ABC series ran for five seasons between 1977 and 1981, chronicling the adventures of the Bradford brood’s eight children. Dick Van Patten, Connie Needham, Grant Goodeve, Willie Aames, Lani O’Grady and Laurie Walters also starred.
“I think [Adam was one of the reasons that the show] was a big success,” Van Patten, who died in 2015 at the age of 86, recalled of working with his former TV son in a throwback Archive of American Television interview. “People loved him. They named their child ‘Nicholas’ and everything because of him.”
He continued: “He was like 7 years old [when we started the show] and he was cute and he was a good actor. He was very natural.”
Van Patten also revealed that he kept in touch with Rich — and his other TV children — “every once in a while” via phone calls since they are all “spread out” throughout the United States.
Rich continued acting through the years, booking brief TV roles on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, CHiPs, Silver Spoons and Baywatch. The Code Red alum had taken a step back from the spotlight in recent years, though frequently used his platform to advocate for mental health.
“Human beings weren’t built to endure mental illness. The mere fact that some people consider those to be weak, or have a lack of will is totally laughable because it’s the total opposite,” the Dungeons & Dragons actor tweeted in September 2022. “It takes a very, very strong person… a warrior if you will… to battle such illnesses.”
Rich retweeted his message the following December after it was confirmed that dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss died by suicide at the age of 40. “The only thing those suffering from a mental illness know how to do is pretend to be OK,” he wrote via Twitter at the time. “Enough! The stigma is killing people. Be yourself. OK, or not OK, is the only way to create change, & stomp the stigma! Heal your truth.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.