Actress. Bridgette Andersen was best known as the title character in the 1982 comedy,”Savannah Smiles”. Born Bridgette Marriah Andersen in Inglewood, California, she showed expectational intelligence from a young age. By age 2, she was able to read and noted Ernest Hemingway as her favorite author. That same year, she decided she wanted to be an actress and was quickly signed by an agent. For the next few years, she would work as a child model and also starred in dozens of commericals and landed bit parts on shows like “King’s Crossing” and a role the TV movie, “Washington Mistress”. In 1982, at age 7, she won the title role of Savannah in “Savannah Smiles” for which she would be nominated for “Best Young Motion Picture Actress” by The Young Artists Awards . Throughout 1982, she worked regularly in tv, landing roles in “Remington Steele”, “Family Ties” and even playing a young Mae West in the tv movie, “Mae West”. In 1983, Bridgette starred in the short lived sitcom “Gun Shy” and was again nominated for an award by The Young Artists Awards. In 1985, she filmed the tv movie, “A Summer To Remember” and starred in the critically panned “Fever Pitch” with Ryan O’Neal. By 1986, Bridgette found herself working less but still managed to land roles in “The Golden Girls” and “The Parent Trap 2”. In 1987, she starred in what would be her last film, “Too Much” and would not work much until the early 90s. One of her last acting roles would come in 1995 playing a bit part in the sitcom, “Unhappily Ever After”, filmed a year before her death. Bridgette was reportedly not close to her family and had little contact with them. During her teens, she became heavily involved in drugs. By 1997, Bridgette was studying theater and working at the Erewhon Health Food Store in Los Angeles. Prior to her death, she was trying to kick her heroin habit but, was having trouble breaking ties with friends that were still involved in the drug scene. According to reports, sometime during the week of May 12, 1997, Bridgette overdosed on a combination of alcohol and heroin. A friend was present at the time and called for an ambulance. She was taken to Queen of Angels hospital in Hollywood and placed on life support. On May 18, 1997, Bridgette was declared brain dead and taken off life support. Her death is listed as “Accidental Overdose of Drugs and Alcohol”. She was 21 years old.
- July, 11, 1975
- May, 18, 1997
- Cremated. Ashes scattered along Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA.