|Heather O’Rourke Quick Info|
|Height||4 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||December 27, 1975|
|Date of Death||February 1, 1988|
Heather O’Rourke was an American child actor who is best known for appearing as Carol Anne Freeling in Poltergeist, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, and Poltergeist III. She rose to acclaim by starring as Carol Anne Freeling in the supernatural horror film Poltergeist in 1982 and this performance got her nominated for a Young Artist Award in the “Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” category. Her television roles included playing Heather Pfister in the ABC sitcom Happy Days, Melanie in Webster, Jillian Marsh in the drama series Finder of Lost Loves, and Heather in The New Leave It to Beaver.
Heather Michele O’Rourke
She was born on December 27, 1975.
On February 1, 1988, she died at the age of 12 due to congenital stenosis of the intestine causing septic shock in San Diego, California, United States.
Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, United States
San Diego, California, United States
Heather O’Rourke studied at Big Bear Elementary School and was president of her 5th-grade class. She also attended Tierra del Sol Middle School.
- Father – Michael O’Rourke (Carpenter)
- Mother – Kathleen (Seamstress)
- Siblings – Tammy O’Rourke (Older Sister) (Actor)
- Others – Cordell O’Rourke (Paternal Grandfather), Melba Mae Cox (Paternal Grandmother), Walton Clyde Schwarm (Maternal Grandfather), Jim Peele (Stepfather) (Part-time Truck Driver)
Note – She was also a fraternal twin to an unborn baby brother.
4 ft 8 in or 142 cm
32 kg or 70.5 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
Heather O’Rourke was of German, Danish, English, and Irish descent.
She had been cast in TV commercials for –
- Long John Silver (1980/1981)
- Rainbow Brite (1983-1986)
- Baby Strawberry Shortcake Doll
- She-Ra Princess of Power Books
Heather O’Rourke Favorite Things
- Movie Of All Time – Dumbo (1941)
- Movie She Appeared In – Poltergeist (1982)
- TV Shows – Three’s Company (1976), The Benny Hill Show (1969)
Source – IMDb
Heather O’Rourke Facts
- She was born at 12:28 AM Pacific Standard Time.
- In 1981, her parents got divorced.
- Her mother then married Jim Peele in 1984 and they lived in a trailer park in Anaheim, California. After the success of their daughter, the family purchased a home in Big Bear Lake, California.
- Some of Heather O’Rourke’s lesser-known talents included calligraphy, drawing, baking, singing, and dancing.
- Although she worked on several horror projects, Heather wasn’t allowed to watch horror films at home.
- She never took acting lessons.
- For her role in Webster, she won the Young Artist Award for “Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Television Series” in 1985.
- Heather O’Rourke enjoyed reading and the last book she was reading was Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl.
- She got to keep the goldfish from Poltergeist (1982) as a gift from the crew.
- The family was living in Lakeside, California, a suburb of San Diego, at the time of her death.
- She once said that if she weren’t acting, she would have been a nurse.
- Heather always accepted the autograph requests.
- According to one of the claims made by her mother, it was a wrong diagnosis that resulted in her death.
- She had a pet St. Bernard and enjoyed shopping.
- She preferred matching everything, from shoes to earrings.
- Heather’s fellow castmates described her demeanor as calm and also stated that during cast meetings with her, everyone would be quickly leafing through the script while Heather was sitting calmly.
- Over time, she got tired of doing sequels to Poltergeist (1982) and once said, “I hope to do a different character someday. I’m tired of this one, kind of. If there is a sequel, a ‘Poltergeist IV,’ I hope it’s the last.”
- One of her hobbies included making and eating sweets.
- The last words she spoke were “I love you” to her mother.
- One of her pallbearers at her funeral was her Poltergeist III co-star Tom Skerritt.
- Heather O’Rourke is buried in the same cemetery as her Poltergeist (1982) co-star, Dominique Dunne.
Featured Image by Maria Candelaria / Flickr / CC BY 2.0