'Poltergeist' child star dies at 12
Syracuse Herald Journal - City Edition - Tuesday February 2nd 1988.
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Heather O'Rourke, who played the angelic child kidnapped by angry spirits in the movie "Poltergeist," died after what was thought to be a bout with the flu, her manager said today.
She was 12.
Miss O'Rourke, a familiar character on television's "Happy Days," "Webster" and "Still the Beaver," died Monday, said her manager, Mike Meyer.
The actress "always looked like 'Alice in Wonderland' and could memorize a 60-page script in about an hour," Meyer said.
"I'm not clear on the cause of death. I was told it was related to sickness she suffered during 'Poltergeist III,' " he" said. "Sunday, they thought she had the flu."
Miss O'Rourke died as she was being taken to a hospital, but Meyer said he was unsure what hospital. A spokeswoman at MGM, where the "Poltergeist" films were produced, said a statement would be issued later today.
In- the original "Poltergeist," Miss O'Rourke was known for uttering the key line when the evil spirits arrived, declaring "They're heeeere!"
The child star, born in San Diego on Dec. 27, 1975, finished filming "Poltergeist III" in late June, starring as Carol Anne for the third time, Meyer said.
HEATHER O'ROURKE (file photograph)