Adam Rich, Eight Is Enough’s youngest child actor, dies at 54


Adam Rich

Adam Rich, who played the youngest of the octet of children on ABC series Eight Is Enough, has died. He was 54. No official cause of death has been revealed.

Adam Rich gained fame on Eight Is Enough (1977-1981) as Nicholas Bradford, a role he would reprise in two TV movies–Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion (1987) and An Eight Is Enough Wedding (1989)–and for a cameo on the PBS education program 3-2-1- Contact

Eight Is Enough’s plot, as per Warner Bros.: “This family comedy classic revolves around Sacramento journalist Tom Bradford (Dick Van Patten) and his eight very independent and individual children (David, Mary, Joanie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy and Nicholas) forced to deal with life’s ups and downs, while living under one roof.” The series ran for five seasons dn 112 episodes. Eight Is Enough 

For his turn as Nicholas Bradford, Adam Rich would win two Young Artist Awards: one for Best Juvenile Actor in a TV Series or Special (1980) and Best Young Actor in a Television Series (1981). He also garnered a nomination for Best Young Comedian but lost to Gary Coleman for Diff’rent Strokes.

Following Eight Is Enough, Adam Rich also had a main role on the ABC drama Code Red and a voice role on Dungeons & Dragons. He also had one-offs on shows like Fantasy Island, CHiPs, Silver Spoons, and more. He appeared as himself in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, starring David Spade and featuring a wealth of other, well, former child stars.

Adam Rich was actually the subject of a death hoax in 1996. Interestingly, Rich played along with the scheme, which was concocted by the team of Might magazine, co-founded by Dave Eggers (future writer of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”). Rich was involved in other headline-grabbing scenarios, like a DUI charge and numerous stints in rehab. In 1991, Rich was arrested for breaking into a pharmacy with the intent of stealing drugs. Dick Van Patten, who played his father on Eight Is Enough, paid his bail.

Despite never reaching the acclaim he had during Eight Is Enough, Adam Rich’s performance as Nicholas Bradford secured the character as being “America’s little brother” for the show’s run.

Pay your respects to the late Adam Rich below.

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