Bridgette Andersen

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Bridgette Andersen
File:Bridgette Andersen.jpg
Andersen in Savannah Smiles in 1982.
Born Marriah Bridget Andersen
Template:Birth date
Inglewood, California, USA
Died Template:Death date and age
Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of death Overdose of alcohol and drugs
Occupation Actress
Years active 1982–1996

Marriah Bridget Andersen (July 11, 1975 – May 18, 1997), professionally billed as Bridgette Andersen was an American child actress best known as the title role of the 1982 comedy Savannah Smiles.

Early life and career

Marriah Bridget Andersen was born in Inglewood, California to Frank Glasse and Teresa Andersen, Bridgette Andersen (as she was known professionally) 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 by the age 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 and had little contact with them. During her teen years, she struggled with an addiction to heroin, and at the time of her death, was attempting to stay clean while working at Erewhon Health Food Store in Los Angeles, California.

On May 18, 1997, Andersen died of a heroin overdose.[4][5] She was twenty-one years old. Her funeral service was held on May 25, 1997 at Malibu United Methodist Church. Andersen 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", final appearance

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. 1.0 1.1 "Andersen is precocious actress". Havre Daily News. 23 April 1982. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  2. Anderson, Nancy. "Savannah Smiles". Copley News Sevice. Cumberland News. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  3. Leszczak, Bob (2016) (in en). Single Season Sitcoms of the 1980s: A Complete Guide. McFarland. p. 58. ISBN 9780786499588. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  4. Smetanka, Andy (September 4, 2003). "Dead end kids". Colorado Springs Independent. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. 
  5. Heldenfels, Rich (31 July 2011). "'Savannah Smiles' child star dies young". Jacksonville Daily News. p. 31. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 

External links


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