He played mop-top Nicholas on ABC’s late 70’s hit, Eight is Enough. Now, actor Adam Rich is dead according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. Rich was 54.
TMZ, who broke the story, says Rich was found dead in his home Saturday night. While no cause of death has been determined yet, law enforcement says foul play has been ruled out.
Rich was born on October 12, 1968. He lived in Granada Hills, Los Angeles, with his parents and younger brother. After his family briefly moved to Florida, Rich would begin studying acting at a local gym.
He made his acting debut on the old ABC hit series, The Six Million Dollar Man. From there, he would spend the next five seasons on Eight is Enough. After the show ended its run, Rich took roles in Irwin Allen’s short-lived 1981 TV series Code Red on ABC and the 1983 sitcom Gun Shy on CBS.
He would make other guest appearances on The Love Boat, CHiPs, Fantasy Island, St. Elsewhere and Baywatch. He also did voice work on the cartoon series Dungeons & Dragons, along with Eight Is Enough co-star Willie Aames. Rich also appeared in TV commercials.
Rich’s growing pains
As a teen, Rich began experiencing problems with addiction. At age 14, he tried smoking marijuana, and at 17, in 1986, he dropped out of high school. He almost died of a Valium overdose in 1989. In 1991, he was arrested and charged with attempted burglary of a pharmacy.
In 1996 Might, a San Francisco-based magazine, ran a story that turned out to be a media hoax. The story was about Rich’s murder and was actually published with the actor’s consent. Then in 2002, Rich was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). He had been in rehab at least three times.
While he remained mostly off the entertainment scene as an adult, he occasionally made personal appearances and marketed script ideas for TV shows and films.