Adam Rich, 54, who played the endearing Nicholas in Eight is Enough and was dubbed “America’s Little Brother,” was discovered dead. The cause of death is yet unknown.

Rich was well-liked by fans, who predicted a successful career for the young actor. The fact is that after this episode, he didn’t have a breakthrough and resigned from acting in 2003 after appearing in Adam Sandler’s comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star for the final time.

Tom Braden, a newspaper editor with eight children, was the subject of the film Eight is Enough. It was hugely popular, garnering millions of fans because it mixed comedy and drama.

Many actors rose to prominence in Hollywood, including Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, and Ralph Macchio, who became known as the Karate Kid. The wealthy, on the other hand, was not. He found it increasingly difficult to get work over time, and he went through some trying circumstances that sent him to rehab several times.

Dick Van Patten, who played the patriarch Tom Bradford on the sitcom, got Rich out of jail after he was arrested for theft in 1991.

“Adam was very popular (on Eight is Enough),… and then he had a lot of trouble securing jobs,” Van Patten told UPI. “‘He’s short, and he’s in that awkward period when he’s not as cute as he once was,’ says the casting director.

In addition to Eight is Enough, Rich appeared in The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Six Million Dollar Man, and one episode of Baywatch in 1993.

“I’m not sure what happened, but I’m sick,” he told the Orlando Sentinel in 1991. I have a medical condition. I’m apologetic and embarrassed about the whole thing. I realized when I was 15 that I had spent most of my life working. I was almost ready to retire since I was so exhausted. As a defiant act, I began hanging around with the wrong people, as if to say, ‘Hey, I’m not cute little Nicholas.’”

Adam Rich’s loss very saddens us. May his spirit find peace.

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