Heather was born on December 27th, 1975. Her first major role was the part of "Carol Anne" in Poltergeist in 1982. She instantly became the child actress studios wanted to hire. Within 6 years she had 15 acting credits. Along with the Poltergeist trilogy, she had roles on television shows such as "Happy Days", "Chips", "Webster", "Matt Houston", "The New Leave It to Beaver" and in the television movies "Massarati and the Brain", "Surviving" and "Around the Ben". At such a young age, she became one of the most admired and respected actresses in the industry.
Heather learned to act "on the job". Which is how she perceived her career. To her, it was a job that she loved to do. Fellow cast members and crew were known to acknowledge Heather as being very "professional and mature". They also would describe Heather as having a"calming influence". Her personality was also described as being very loving, intelligent and outspoken while remaining very humble about herself and career.
Many stories of her career and of how loving she was are etched in the memories of her family and fans. Here are a few moments about her career and life that were shared.
-Heather began with modeling and commercials before her role in "Poltergeist".
-Made the cover of Mattel's "My First Barbie" in 1980
-Never took acting classes and her peers considered her to be a "perfectionist".
-Heather would memorize entire scripts and then help her fellow cast members remember their lines while filming.
-Heather would perform her own stunts during filming.
-As "Carol Anne", her famous quote, "They're Here!" is ranked #69 on AFI's top 100 movie quotes in cinematic history. Making Heather the youngest on the list at age 6.
-Wanted to study film in college and eventually become a director.
-1986, made a guest appearance on Dick Clark's "Puttin' On the Kids" and donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
-Nominated 6 times for "Young Actess Award", winning for "Webster" in 1985.
-Led a normal childhood with school, chores and family life when she wasn't working.
-Became the "Student Body President" for her 5th grade class.
-Heather was asked to be in her school's Christmas play "Twas the Night Before Christmas". She accepted but declined to take a lead role so others could experience what she experiences in film.
-Yearly, she volunteered on the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon.
-2 of Heather's personal quotes...Asking her mother, "Why do people want my autograph? It's just my name in writing."...In an interview, "I never watched horror movies as a rule."
-Some of her favorite things were reading, baking, shopping, singing and calligraphy. She also enjoyed riding her atv.
-Heather's favorite movie was "Dumbo" and her favoite actor was River Pheonix.
-Understanding how it made her fans feel, she never refused an autograph.
What remains as one of the most heartbreaking moments in the history of cinema, on February 1,1988, Heather tragically passed away at the age of 12. Her wonderful work in film and the legacy of her young life will always remain. Decades later, generations of old and new, still admire what she left us to remember....her heart.
These are just a some examples of Heather's career and life to which her fans all around the world adored. You can pay tribute to Heather's memory by donating directly to a National Forest Agency via "The Heather O'Rourke Forest Conservation". Thank you and God Bless.
To learn more about Heather's life and career, visit Heather's memorial website... www.heatherorourke.com
"Our family, her generations of fans and the forest agencies who have taken part, would like to express a heartfelt thank you. Not only for the ability to pay tribute to Heather while helping nature and it's wildlife, but for simply letting Heather into our lives through her career. She remains in our hearts and in our prayers...Thank you."