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Heather O'Rourke (1975-1988)

Poltergeist I-III.

Died February 1, 1988, of cardiac arrest and septic shock, the result of an intestinal blockage. She was 12.


  • Poltergeist III was released four months after her death.
  • First took ill in 1987, prior to the shoot for Poltergeist III. O'Rourke's mother told People that her daughter's condition was misdiagnosed as a parasite, and then as Crohn's disease.
  • Appeared in the 1982-83 season of Happy Days as Heather, daughter of Fonzie love interest, Ashley Pfister (Linda Purl).
  • Henry (Fonzie) Winkler served as a pallbearer at her funeral, per the completist Heather O'Rourke: Memorial Site.
  • Was only 5 when she said, "They're heeeeere," as little bedeviled Carol Anne in 1982's original Poltergeist.
  • Discovered by director Steven Spielberg, who produced Poltergeist, as she lunched at the MGM lot, where her older sister Tammy was shooting Pennies from Heaven.


  • Heather O'Rourke: Memorial Site
  • credits

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