The short life of Heather O’Rourke

Heather O’Rourke became a star at a young age after staring at the horror movie Poltergeist.

Everyone knew she was going to be the next big thing that will happen to Hollywood, but she was short-lived.

Many speculations are surrounding her death; some believe it’s the “Hollywood curse” as there are some other actors who starred in the movie that were lost too.

Heather O’Rourke was born in Santee, San Diego, California on December 27, 1975. Her father, Michael O’Rourke, was a construction worker while her mother, Kathleen worked as a seamstress.


Heather O’Rourke like some other Hollywood stars gets discovered through the weirdest ways. We all know about Micheal Landon who was discovered while working at a gas station and Heather O’Rourke has her own story.

Heather O’Rourke and her mom Kathleen were having a meal at the MGM commissary. They waiting for Tammy, Heather’s sister who had gotten a role as a dancer in the film Pennies From Heaven and they never knew their life was going to change forever.

Steven Spielberg wanted to make a new horror movie named Poltergeist and was in search of a 4-year-old actress to be part of the cast. It was a coincidence that he met Heather.

Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Immediately he saw heather while she was waiting for her mother, he knew he has found the star he has been searching for.

Heather’s acting abilities were tested with her mother by her side.

Heather O’Rourke recalled of the first meeting with Steven Spielberg, “I went to his office, and he wanted me to be afraid of this pink fish, and this purple pig and all that, and I thought it was hilarious, and I left,” “And he told me to come back the next day.”

She went on to get the job and did exceptionally well and transformed into a star overnight.

When Heather passed away it got a lot of people talking.

Heather first showed signs of sickness in 1987 and was taken to Kaiser Facility in San Diego.

According to Kathleen her mother, I had taken her to Kaiser three or four times that month,” and “they kept telling me she had the flu.”

It was later discovered she had Giardia and got treatment immediately.

In that same year in June, heather went for her regular check-up where it was discovered she wasn’t fine at all.

She got treated and life went on. It wasn’t until January 31, 1988, when she complained that she couldn’t swallow her breakfast.

Kathleen recalled, “Then I noticed her fingers and toes were blue, and she started to breathe real heavy, kind of fast. And her stomach was distended. I called our local doctor, and his office said, ‘Bring her right in.’ About 20 seconds later, she fell to the floor. That’s when I called the paramedics.”

Ron Wolfson/WireImage

She was suffering from septic shock, and on the way to the hospital, she said her last words.

“I love you, too,” Heather replied after Kathleen told her that she loves her.

Heather had a brief life has passed away at the age of 12 and she will always be remembered.

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