Adam Rich, Former Child Actor Who Starred in ‘Eight Is Enough,’ Found Dead Inside LA Home

Adam Rich, also known as ‘America’s little brother’ for his portrayal of Nicholas Bradford on the popular TV sitcom Eight Is Enough, died inside his Los Angeles home on Saturday, January 7th. The former child actor was 54 years old at the time of his death, having last appeared in a film nearly 20 years ago.

According to Lt. Aimee Earl of the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner Coroner’s office, the cause of death is currently being investigated – though there doesn’t seem to be any signs of foul play or suspicion. Multiple friends and family members grew worried when they couldn’t get ahold of Rich. 

Rich enjoyed a majority of his success during his five-year stint on Eight Is Enough, which came to an end in 1981. He was just 8 years old when he joined the sitcom and was 13 years old when the show came to an end. His iconic pageboy mop-top haircut became a growing trend among children his age at the time. 

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Adam Rich has a history of drug addiction and run-ins with the law, dating back to the late-1980s – after he dropped out of high school. He was open and vocal about his past struggles, often taking to social media to voice his support for those going through similar setbacks. He had been sober since 2015. 

“Well… I’m not perfect! Arrests, 20’ahem rehabs(not all voluntary;), 3-4 OD’s(depending on who you ask!), a couple 5150’s… & countless detoxes & relapses. 7yrs clean & sober the 7th!… 54yrs old on the 12th. It takes what it takes! 😉 So don’t ever give up! #Sobriety beats hell!” he posted on Twitter in October.

“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! It takes a very, very strong person… a warrior if you will… to battle such illnesses,” he said in a Tweet on September 10th.

In December, he quoted that tweet after hearing about Stephen Boss’ death. “The only thing those suffering from a mental illness know how to do is pretend to be ok. 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!”

Friends, Family Members, and Fans React to the Death of Adam Rich

In the days since the public learned of his passing, fans and colleagues have taken to social media to honor the life of Adam Rich. One of the first people to share their grief was Danny Deraney, publishing a statement on Twitter. “If you knew Adam, you just loved the guy. And oh the stories he could tell,” he said.

“Adam was simply a wonderful guy. He was kind, generous and a warrior in the fight against mental illness. Adam did not have an ounce of ego. He was unselfish and always looked out for those he cared about. This is why many people who grew up with him feel a part of their childhood gone,” he continued. 

Billy Baldwin, one of the four Baldwin brothers, also opened up about his memories of the late actor. “We DM’d often about politics, showbiz, family, and mental health issues. He was a smart, talented, kind, and gentle soul,” said Baldwin – adding that he watched every episode of Eight Is Enough as a child.

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Adam Rich didn’t see a lot of acting opportunities once Eight Is Enough came to an end, but he made several appearances on some well-liked TV shows – including Code Red, Dungeons & Dragons, The Love Boat, Silver Spoons, Baywatch, and The Six Million Dollar Man. We send our prayers to his family.

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