DEAD: Heather O’Rourke

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Heather O’Rourke (aged 12)

American actress (Poltergeist)

Heather O’Rourke (December 27, 1975 – February 1, 1988) was an American child actress. She was discovered by director Steven Spielberg when she was visiting MGM’s studios. Spielberg cast her as Carol Anne Freeling in the horror film Poltergeist (1982), where she is known for saying “They’re here!” She reprised the role in the second and third installments.

DEATH: O’Rourke became ill with giardiasis in early 1987 and was later diagnosed as having Crohn’s disease. She was prescribed a steroid to treat the disease during the time she was filming Poltergeist III. On January 31, 1988, she began vomiting. The next morning she collapsed; she suffered cardiac arrest en route to the hospital and died later that day after surgery to repair an acute bowel obstruction caused by congenitalstenosis of the intestine complicated by septic shock. She was entombed at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

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