THE mysterious deaths of 1980s child actress Heather O’Rourke and three of her co-stars from the film Poltergeist has sparked fears of a “Hollywood curse”. Sign up, Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout.

[8] While eating in the MGM commissary,[1] Spielberg saw five-year-old O'Rourke having lunch with her mother[8] while older sister Tammy was shooting Pennies from Heaven. The actress died in surgery when doctors were attempting to repair an acute bowel obstruction, caused by what was believed to be a long battle with Crohn’s disease, the LA Times reported. [17] She was subsequently diagnosed as having Crohn's disease. She survived the surgery but suffered another cardiac arrest whilst being transferred to the recovery room. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 4, 1982 and was a commercial success, grossing $1.13 million in the United States, making it the highest-grossing horror film of 1982 and eighth overall for the year. Child actress Heather O'Rourke died in 1988.Source:Supplied. Hollander speculated that Heather’s bowel narrowing might not have been congenital but could have developed suddenly due to inflammation. It was the actor who played Carol Anne’s most intimidating spirit, doomsday cult leader Kane, who died next. in the second (that film's tagline), placed her in the collective pop culture consciousness of the United States. Throughout her career, O'Rourke had been nominated for six Young Artist Awards, winning one for her role in Webster, and appeared in a total of three films (all of which are from the Poltergeist franchise) and twelve television series. ″I would have expected a lot of (digestive) difficulties throughout her life and not just to have developed a problem all of a sudden,″ said Dr. Daniel Hollander, head of gastroenterology at University of California, Irvine, Medical Center. ″She was completely healthy Saturday, they thought she had the flu on Sunday and she was dead on Monday.″, Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. Advertisement. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied.

She had an older sister, Tammy O'Rourke, also an actress. Her mother worked as a seamstress and her father was a carpenter. When intestinal narrowing is obvious, the defect is corrected by surgically removing the narrow section and connecting the normal sections on both sides, the experts said. LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The death of 12-year-old ″Poltergeist″ actress Heather O’Rourke was ″distinctly unusual″ because she lacked prior symptoms of the bowel defect that reportedly killed her, gastrointestinal doctors say. ″It’s weird,″ Meyer said.

A private funeral was scheduled for Friday at Westwood Village Mortuary in Los Angeles for the blond youngster, whose character encountered ghosts and warned ″They’re heeeere 3/8″ in ″Poltergeist″ and ″They’re baaaack 3/8″ in the sequel. It was the unexpected nature of Heather O’Rourke’s death which led many to believe the “Poltergeist Curse” was real. [17] She was entombed at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. ″It just doesn’t seem to quite make sense,″ said Dr. Hartley Cohen, a USC gastroenterologist. Join the conversation, you are commenting as, news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site, 12 Horror films on Netflix Australia with the highest Rotten Tomatoes scores. The young actress was tragically pronounced dead after suffering septic shock, on February 1, 1988. She made her debut after being discovered by director Steven Spielberg while visiting MGM studios. Picture: Supplied.Source:News Corp Australia, RELATED: The five most cursed movies of all time, RELATED: 12 Horror films on Netflix Australia with the highest Rotten Tomatoes scores. In the Poltergeist trilogy, O'Rourke played Carol Anne Freeling, a young suburban girl who becomes the conduit and target for supernatural entities. Heather O'Rourke played a child harassed by evil spirits in Poltergeist.

Mike Meyer, the actress’ manager and lawyer, said Heather didn’t suffer chronic digestive problems, and the bowel narrowing wasn’t discovered until she underwent surgery and died on the operating table after suffering cardiac arrest en route to the hospital. He was 60 when he lost a battle with stomach cancer on September 14, 1985, according to The New York Times. [12] O'Rourke played the role in all three films. That means she died of shock caused by infection in the blood, which in turn was caused by a birth defect that made a section of her intestine abnormally narrow. Heather Michele O'Rourke was born on December 27, 1975 in San Diego, to Kathleen and Michael O'Rourke. Set in a house built on an ancient Native American burial ground, the original Poltergeist trilogy told the terrifying story of the Freeling family and their encounters with the supernatural. in the first film, and "They're baa-aack!" A 1980s classic became known as Hollywood’s most “cursed” film following the untimely death of a 12-year-old actress. She had an older sister, Tammy O'Rourke, also an actress. When scared by performing a particular stunt, Spielberg replaced O'Rourke with a stunt double wearing a blonde wig; and when disturbed by the portrayal of child abuse, Spielberg did not require her to perform the take again. [5][9] After his lunch, Spielberg approached the family and offered O'Rourke the Poltergeist role; she was signed the next day, beating Drew Barrymore, who was also up for the role.[8][10].

Poltergeist is regarded as one of the most terrifying horror films of all time, it’s also known as the most “cursed” film in Hollywood. ″I cannot understand what precipitated the death because it’s usually clear when they’re born they have an important disease,″ said Dr. Carlo Di Lorenzo, a University of Southern California pediatrician.

[2], O'Rourke's performance of her famous line from, pop culture consciousness of the United States, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, "Heather O'Rourke, 12; Starred in 'Poltergeist, "Heather O'Rourke's Grieving Mother Tells Why She's Suing Her Child's Doctors for Wrongful Death", "Snatched by Poltergeist's Demons, Heather O'rourke Gets Some Bad News—they're Here Again", "Child star of 'Poltergeist,' Heather O'Rourke, dies", "Doctors: Unusual Circumstances Surrounded Actress' Death", "Heather O'Rourke, 12, a star of 'Poltergeist, "Suit Blames Doctors in Death of Young Actress", "`Poltergeist' Star Heather O'Rourke Dies at Age of 12", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Heather_O%27Rourke&oldid=983441131, Burials at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected biographies of living people, Turner Classic Movies person ID same as Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Episode: "Elizabeth's Baby / The Artist and the Lady", Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Best Young Actress, Guest in a Television Series, Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress in a Television Special or Mini-Series, Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Starring in a Feature Film - Comedy or Drama, This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 07:27. Shrouded in superstition following a handful of mysterious cast deaths, the 1982 film’s grim history has followed it through decades – even casting fear over the critically reviled 2015 remake. Heather O'Rourke rose to fame in the first film of the Poltergeist trilogy. The film’s special effects – inventive for its era – makes it frequently ranked among the greatest horror films of all time. THE mysterious deaths of 1980s child actress Heather O'Rourke and three of her co-stars from the film Poltergeist has sparked fears of a "Hollywood curse". [7], In a contemporary interview with American Premiere magazine, producer Steven Spielberg explained that he was looking for a "beatific four-year-old child...every mother's dream" for the lead in his horror film Poltergeist (1982). All times AEDT (GMT +11). Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Moderate bowel narrowing at birth might not cause symptoms, but a lack of symptoms before age 12 ″would be distinctly unusual,″ said Dr. Paul Hyman, chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center. She contracted an intestinal parasite last winter, probably from well water at her former home in Big Bear, and her doctors assumed the parasite inflamed the intestine, he said. Meyer said a section of Heather’s intestine burst after ballooning to 4 inches in diameter. [16], In early 1987, O'Rourke became ill with giardiasis, which she contracted from well water at her family's home in Big Bear Lake. Filming was completed on a third ″Poltergeist″ movie last June. A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. In April 1983, she starred as herself alongside Morey Amsterdam and well-known Walt Disney animated characters in the hour-long television special, Believe You Can...and You Can! [13] "They're here!" It was the unexpected nature of Heather O’Rourke’s death which led many to believe the “Poltergeist Curse” was real. Advertise with NZME.

[1][21][22], Daniel Hollander, the head of gastroenterology at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center stated that O'Rourke's death was "distinctly unusual" as she lacked prior symptoms of the bowel defect: "I would have expected a lot of [digestive] difficulties throughout her life and not just to have developed a problem all of a sudden. “Lights that could turn on anywhere else in the neighbourhood would blow out the second you’d try to light them on (the set),” Kenan wrote. Don't have an account? "[1] During the production of the original Poltergeist, Spielberg twice accommodated the child actress when frightened. Not only is Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist regarded as one of the most terrifying horror films of all time, it’s also known as the most “cursed” film in Hollywood. Many believe the “Poltergeist Curse” began the same year the first movie was released. It was the unexpected nature of Heather O'Rourke's death which led many to believe the "Poltergeist Curse" was real.

After her work in Poltergeist (1982), O'Rourke secured several television and TV movie roles. Hyman said congenital narrowing of the small intestine occurs in roughly one of every 50,000 live births, while such narrowing of the large intestine is about 10 times more rare. Starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, the movie may have been widely panned, but no cast members died. Other specialists, also unconnected with the case, said Wednesday it was possible she died as the resulted of a birth defect, but added that the circumstances of her death were extremely unusual.



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