Nearly six months after Adam Rich died at the age of 54, his cause of death has been revealed.
According to a recent report from the Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s office, Rich died on January 7 due to the “effects of fentanyl.” His passing was ruled as an accident.
News broke in January that the Eight Is Enough alum had been found dead in his Los Angeles home.
Rich was best known for his role as youngest sibling Nicholas Bradford on ABC’s Eight Is Enough, which ran for five seasons between 1977 and 1981. The sitcom followed the daily adventures of the expansive Bradford Brood. Dick Van Patten, Connie Needham, Grant Goodeve, Willie Aames, Lani O’Grady and Laurie Walters also starred.
“I think [Adam was one of the reasons that the show] was a big success,” Van Patten, who died in 2015 at the age of 86, recalled of working with his former TV son in a throwback Archive of American Television interview. “People loved him. They named their child ‘Nicholas’ and everything because of him.”
He continued: “He was like 7 years old [when we started the show] and he was cute and he was a good actor. He was very natural.”
After Eight Is Enough wrapped, Rich continued acting and scored roles in the likes of The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, CHiPs, Silver Spoons and Baywatch. The Code Red alum ultimately took a step back from the spotlight in the years preceding his death.
After Rich passed away, many of his TV siblings paid tribute to his legacy.
“This morning [my wife] Winnie woke me with the heartbreaking news of Adam Rich’s passing,” Aames, 62, wrote via Facebook in January. “I’m gutted. Adam was more than a colleague. He was very much my only little brother. A lifelong friend.”
He continued at the time: “These last few years Adam had dreams of renewing his career. He was one of those kid actors that our generation will always remember.”
Corey Feldman also paid tribute to Rich via Twitter. “Another brilliant light, another tortured soul, another child star who couldn’t find his peace after what he endured,” the 51-year-old actor, who is also known for his roles as a child star, tweeted at the time. “He was a friend, a comrade & a talented person w a deep passion 4 helping others understand mental illness. I’ll miss him!”
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The Goonies star added: “I hope & pray he’s able 2 C this somehow from out there! Cuz it sure would have helped his Heart 2 C it while he was still here!”