Judith Barsi (Judith Barsi)

Judith  Barsi

Child Actress, Murder Victim. Born Judith Eva Barsi, the only child to Jozsef and Maria Benko Barsi, Hungarian immigrants who had fled their homeland during the 1956 Hungarian uprising against the Soviet occupation. They immigrated to the USA, and settled in Los Angeles, California shortly before the birth of their daughter. Her father soon found work as a plumber, but by 1983 had begun to drink heavily and skip work. Jozsef would refuse to let his wife work, so for a while, the family lived on welfare, when Jozsef was terminated for his many absences due to his drinking. Her mother began to groom the child for a movie career, and at age 5, she was discovered at a San Fernando Valley ice skating rink, in which she was mistaken for a three year old, and put to acting in television commercials. As she was short for her age, she often got roles playing girls younger than her actual age. She would make over 70 commercials. By the time she entered the fourth grade, she was earning an estimated $100,000 per year, which her parents used to purchase a four bedroom home in the West Hills section of Los Angeles. Her first film was the television mini-series, “Fatal Vision” (1984), in which she played the role of Kimberly, a three year old. Other television movies, such as “Do You Remember Love” (1985), and “Destination America” (1987) would follow, along with guest roles on such television shows as “The Fall Guy,” “Remington Steele,” “Punky Brewster”, and “The Love Boat”. She would also play roles in movies, including “Eye of the Tiger” (1986), “Jaws, the Revenge” (1987), and the voice of Ducky in the 1988 animated movie “The Land Before Time” and the voice of Anne-Marie in the animated movie “All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989). While her movie and television success continued to bring more roles, her father, Jozsef, would become more abusive and jealous. In December 1986, Maria reported for the first time to police that Joseph had been threatening her and had hit her several different times. When she declined to press charges, police dropped the case. Just before Judy was to fly to the Bahamas to film “Jaws, the Revenge” her father reportedly took a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. When she reported in to the Bahamas, she would display such disturbing behavior that had the child’s agent notified her mother to take her to a child psychologist, who identified severe, physical and emotional abuse, and reported the girl to the California Child Protective Services (CPS). Her mother, Maria, had the CPS case dropped when she informed authorities that she intended to file for divorce. On Wednesday, July 27, 1988, the next door neighbor, Eunice Daly, heard a loud explosion at the home, saw the house on fire, and called the fire department. Later the bodies of the Barsis were discovered in the home. As Police later reconstructed the crime, on July 25, 1988, Jozsef shot Judith while she was asleep in her room. Maria, responding to the sound of the gunshot, was apparently shot as she ran down the hallway towards her daughter’s bedroom. Two days later, Jozsef set the bodies on fire with gasoline along with the house, then went into the garage, and shot himself with a pistol. On August 9, 1988, Judy and her mother were buried in unmarked graves at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Several years later, in 2004, fans of Judith Barsi purchased headstones for their graves. Judith’s headstone reads: In Memory of the Lovely Judith Eva Barsi, Our Concrete Angel, Yep! Yep! Yep! This is in reference to the Martina McBride song about child abuse and to Barsi’s catchphrase by her character, Ducky, from “The Land Before Time” (1988). Ducky was reportedly her favorite acting role. Both movies, “The Land Before Time” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven” were released after her death.

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  • June, 06, 1978
  • USA
  • California


  • July, 25, 1988
  • USA
  • California


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park
  • California
  • USA

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