Adam Rich, Child Actor on ‘Eight Is Enough,’ Dies at 54

The young star of the 1970s and ’80s was found lifeless in his Los Angeles home

Adam Rich Eight Is Enough
"Eight Is Enough" star, Adam Rich (Getty Images)

Adam Rich, best known as the moppet-haired youngest son in the ABC family comedy of the late ‘70s “Eight Is Enough,” has died, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. He was 54.

Although a family member confirmed to TMZ that the actor was found dead in his home in Los Angeles Saturday, no cause of death has been revealed yet. Law enforcement, however, says there was no apparent foul play.

Rich was born in the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles. He made his acting debut on “The Six Million Dollar Man” in 1976 when he was 8 years old but rose to fame just a year later in the popular family comedy “Eight Is Enough,” which ran on ABC for five seasons.

He spent the next dozen years making guest appearances on numerous TV shows, including “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” CHiPs,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Silver Spoons,” “Baywatch” and “Code Red,” where he was a series regular. He can also be heard as the voice of Presto the Magician in the animated series “Dungeons & Dragons” and seen in a cameo role as himself in the David Spade film “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.”

In his teens, Rich dropped out of high school. At 19 he reportedly almost died of a Valium overdose and, two years later, was arrested and charged with attempted burglary of a pharmacy after a hospital refused to give him painkillers and, a day later, arrested on suspicion of shoplifting at Bullock’s department store. His addiction problem continued, with an arrest for driving under the influence in 2002 and multiple admissions into drug rehab.

Just three months ago, Rich celebrated his sobriety and encouraged others fighting their own demons to never give up.

“Well… I’m not perfect!” he tweeted. “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!”