-Cinematic Century: An Intimate Diary of America?s Affair with the movies
By Harry Haun, page 33
The Poltergeist trilogy (extending from 1982 through 1988). Heather O'Rourke's performance as the small girl being preyed upon by poltergeists remains just as riveting as Pamela Franklin's little Flora, offering a more physical dimension to the spirit world located on "the other side."
-Psychological Reflections on Cinematic Terror
by James F. Iaccino, page 30
In the lower right corner of the wall, you'll find the crypt of Heather O'Rourke (1975-1988), best known for her performances as the terrified young girl who is sucked into a spectral dimension by evil spirits in Poltergeist (1982) and its two sequels. O'Rourke began her acting career at the age of five, appearing in episodes of Fantasy Island, Webster, and CHiPs in the early 1980s. In 1982, she had a semi-regular role on the popular television sitcom Happy Days.
Fans often leave flowers, stuffed animals, and other toys at the crypt of Heather O'Rourke. O'Rourke was eating lunch in the commissary at MGM studios with her mother and sister when writer and director Steven Spielberg, who was looking for a child to star in Poltergeist, saw her and asked if she would do a screen test for the film. O'Rourke, as Carol Anne Freeling, the youngest daughter in a family that finds their home haunted by unfriendly spirits, had the most memorable line in the first Poltergeist film-"They're heeeeere!"-and in the second, Poltergeist II (1986)-"They're baaaaack!" O'Rourke was the only actor from the first two films to appear in the next sequel, Poltergeist III (1988), in which the evil spirits follow her when she visits her aunt and uncle.
A few months after she finished work on Poltergeist III, O'Rourke complained of abdominal pains, and was taken to a hospital in San Diego, California, where she died on the operating table. O'Rourke had been suffering from intestinal stenosis, a congenital obstruction of the digestive tract. The blockage, which had been previously undetected, caused an infection that resulted in her death, just a few weeks after her twelfth birthday. Poltergeist III was released after O'Rourke's death and was dedicated to her memory. A few months after O'Rourke's death, her mother filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the hospital where O'Rourke had been treated, charging that the girl's condition had been improperly diagnosed and that the intestinal obstruction could have been eliminated with a a simple surgical procedure.
The marker on O'Rourke's crypt identifies her as "Carol Anne-Poltergeist I, II, III." Despite her Despite her film roles, O'Rourke said her proudest accomplishment was being elected president of her fifth-grade class. O'Rourke was born December 27, 1975, in San Diego, California. She died Febuary 1, 1988, in San Diego, California.
-Hollywood Remains to Be Seen: A Guide to the Movie Stars' Final Homes
by Mark J. Masek pages 175-176
PREMIERE: Did you discover Heather O'Rourke "Lana Turner-style?" S P I E L B E R G : Yes, I did. Except it wasn't Schwab's, it was the MGM commissary . For Poltergeist, I wanted a "beatific" four-year-old child ... every mother's dream. While having lunch, I looked across the room and there was little Heather sitting there. I kept staring at her. After lunch, I walked over to the table and I said, "Who's the proud mother or agent of this child?" And two hands went up-the mother's and the agent's. So I pulled Heather aside, and I think we made her deal the next day. She's wonderful. Poltergeist centers around two children in a family of six, so working with Heather and some of the other kids on Poltergeist, and then, after only five weeks off, stepping right into work with three other kids on the soundstage directing E.T., actually eleven kids, altogether, well, it was a wonderful summer.
-Steven Spielberg: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers Series)
by Steven Spielberg, et al (Paperback )
Edited by Suaviterinmodo, 28 August 2005 - 07:55 PM.