Bridgette Andersen

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Bridgette Andersen
Bridgette Andersen.jpg
Andersen in Savannah Smiles in 1982.
Born Marriah Bridget Andersen
(1975-07-11)July 11, 1975
Inglewood, California, U.S.
Died May 18, 1997(1997-05-18) (aged 21)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Accidental alcohol and heroin overdose
Resting place Fir Grove Cemetery, Ada, Oregon, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1982–1996

Marriah Bridget Andersen (July 11, 1975 – May 18, 1997), professionally known as Bridgette Andersen, was an American television and film actress who began her career as a child model at the age of 2. She is best known as the title role of the 1982 comedy Savannah Smiles. As a teenager, Andersen developed a drug addiction. In May 1997, at the age of 21, she died of an accidental heroin and alcohol overdose.

Early life and career

Marriah Bridget Andersen was born in Inglewood, California to Frank Glasse and Teresa Andersen, Andersen was raised in Malibu, California, and from an early age, she showed exceptional intelligence.[1] By two years old, she decided she wanted to be an actress and eventually began a career as a child model, appearing in TV commercials, before breaking into acting at the age of seven in the 1982 TV movie Washington Mistress[1] Later that year, Andersen appeared in her most memorable role as the title character in Savannah Smiles,[2] followed by roles in Family Ties, Remington Steele, and as a young Mae West in the TV biopic of the actress' life.

In 1983, Andersen appeared as Celia in the short lived sitcom Gun Shy,[3] and was also nominated for a Young Artist Award for her role in Savannah Smiles. She followed up with a role in the horror film Nightmares. She was nominated for a second time for a Young Artist Award for her role in Gun Shy the following year.

Throughout the mid-1980s, Andersen continued to appear in episodic television, T.V. movies and features films, including: A Summer to Remember in 1985, Hotel, Fever Pitch with Ryan O'Neal, The Golden Girls, and The Parent Trap II with Hayley Mills.

By 1987, Andersen's roles were infrequent, with her only appearances being in an episode of CBS Summer Playhouse and an independent film entitled Too Much. One of Andersen's last roles was a small part in a Pepsi commercial that aired during Super Bowl XXX on January 28, 1996. Her last acting role was in the independent feature Locker 28. However, the film has never been released. Andersen made her last television appearance in the episode entitled “Eating Hollywood” on Unhappily Ever After as her role as Drew, which aired on November 17, 1996.


Andersen was reportedly not close to her family with whom she had little contact. During her teenage years, Andersen developed an addiction to heroin. At the time of her death, she was attempting to stay clean and was working at Erewhon Market, a natural foods store in Los Angeles, California.

On May 18, 1997, Andersen died of an accidental heroin and alcohol overdose.[4][5] Her funeral service was held on May 25 at Malibu United Methodist Church after which she was buried in Fir Grove Cemetery in Ada, Oregon.


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Savannah Smiles Savannah
1983 Nightmares Brooke Houston Segment: "Night of the Rat"
1985 Fever Pitch Amy
1987 Too Much Susie
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Washington Mistress Jenny Television movie
1982 King's Crossing Mimi Hadary Episode: "Triangle"
1982 Mae West Mae (Age 7) Television movie
1982 Family Ties Young Mallory Episode: "A Christmas Story"
1983 Gun Shy Celia Main role, 6 episodes
1983 Fantasy Island Jane Ashley Episode: "Random Choices/My Mother, the Swinger"
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre Gretel Episode: "Hansel and Gretel"
1984 Remington Steele Angel Gallen Episode: "Blood Is Thicker Than Steele"
1984 The Mississippi Abigail Marshall Episode: "Abigail"
1984 The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. Alison Lattimer Television movie
1985 A Summer to Remember Jill Television movie
1985 Hotel Lindsay Pomeroy Episode: "Lost and Found"
1986 The Golden Girls Charley Episode: "The Truth Will Out"
1986 Between Two Women Kate Petherton Television movie
1986 The Parent Trap II Mary Grand Television movie
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Jamie Episode: "Doctors Wilde"
1996 Unhappily Ever After Drew Episode: "Eating Hollywood"

Award nominations

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1983 Young Artist Award Best Young Motion Picture Actress Savannah Smiles Nominated
1984 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series Gun Shy Nominated
1985 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress - Guest in a Television Series The Mississippi Nominated
1986 Young Artist Award Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress in a Television Special or Mini-Series A Summer to Remember Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Andersen is precocious actress". Havre Daily News. April 23, 1982. Retrieved September 23, 2017. 
  2. ^ Anderson, Nancy. "Savannah Smiles". Cumberland News. Copley News Service. Retrieved September 23, 2017. 
  3. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2016). Single Season Sitcoms of the 1980s: A Complete Guide. McFarland. p. 58. ISBN 9780786499588. Retrieved September 23, 2017. 
  4. ^ Smetanka, Andy (September 4, 2003). "Dead end kids". Colorado Springs Independent. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ Heldenfels, Rich (July 31, 2011). "'Savannah Smiles' child star dies young". Jacksonville Daily News. p. 31. Retrieved September 23, 2017. 

External links

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