Name Amanda Peterson
Years active 1982–95
Other names Mandy Peterson
|Full Name Phyllis Amanda Peterson|
Born July 8, 1971 (1971-07-08) Greeley, Colorado, U.S.
Cause of death Accidental drug overdose
Alma mater Middlebury CollegeUniversity of Northern ColoradoColorado State University
Died July 3, 2015, Greeley, Colorado, United States
Spouse Joseph Robert Skutvik (m. ?–1999)
Siblings Ann Marie Peterson, Jimmy Peterson
Education Middlebury College (1989–1990)
Movies Can't Buy Me Love, Annie, Explorers, Listen to Me, Windrunner
Similar People Patrick Dempsey, Tina Caspary, Darcy DeMoss, Seth Green, Courtney Gains
Amanda peterson s family struggles to deal with news of actress death
Amanda Peterson (born Phyllis Amanda Peterson, July 8, 1971 – July 3, 2015) was an American actress known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 comedy film Can't Buy Me Love.
- Amanda peterson s family struggles to deal with news of actress death
- can t buy me love actress amanda peterson died from accidental drug overdose
- Early life
- Later years
can t buy me love actress amanda peterson died from accidental drug overdose
Peterson was born in Greeley, Colorado, the youngest of three children born to James Peterson, an ear, nose, and throat specialist, and his wife Sylvia. She had two older siblings: a sister, Anne Marie and a brother, James, Jr. Peterson began acting as a child and used the name "Amanda Peterson" in a professional capacity. In the beginning of her career, she used the name "Mandy Peterson", which was also the name friends and family used.
Peterson made her stage debut at age 7 as Gretl in the University of Northern Colorado's stage production of The Sound of Music. At the age of 8, she won a role in the musical film Annie, where she appeared as a dancing extra. Peterson went on to land guest spots on Father Murphy and Silver Spoons. She also appeared in more than fifty television commercials. During the 1983–84 television season, she co-starred as Squirt Sawyer on the NBC drama series Boone. Boone was canceled after one season.
In 1985, Peterson won her first starring role in the feature film Explorers. The following year, she co-starred as "Sunny Sisk" in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries A Year in the Life. The miniseries was highly acclaimed and was third-highest-rated miniseries of the 1986–87 U.S. television season with a 16.9/27 rating/share. It was later adapted into a television series of the same name that aired on NBC from 1987 to 1988. For her work on the series, Peterson won a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Drama Series. Despite being critically acclaimed, A Year in the Life was canceled after one season.
In 1986, 15-year-old Peterson was cast in the teen comedy Boy Rents Girl, opposite Patrick Dempsey. The film was shot on location in Tucson, Arizona. The title was later changed to Can't Buy Me Love after producers secured the rights to The Beatles' 1964 song of the same name. Released in the summer of 1987, Can't Buy Me Love received mixed reviews but became the sleeper hit of the summer. After its release, Peterson and Dempsey obtained teen idol status and subsequently appeared on the covers of teen magazines such as Tiger Beat and Teen Beat.
In 1988, Peterson co-starred in the Roger Corman-produced post-apocalyptic film The Lawless Land, followed by a role in the 1989 teen drama Listen to Me. Later that same year, Peterson returned to Greeley where she graduated from University High School (while working in Los Angeles, she was privately tutored). Shortly after graduating, she starred in the television movie Fatal Charm. That fall, Peterson enrolled at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. While on semester break, she appeared in a guest spot on Doogie Howser, M.D. Later that year, Peterson dropped out of Middlebury College. In 1994, she returned to acting in the fantasy film WindRunner, starring Jason Wiles. It was Peterson's final onscreen role.
In 1994, Peterson retired from the entertainment industry and returned to her hometown of Greeley, Colorado. According to her father, Dr. James Peterson, Peterson left Hollywood to "...choose a new path in her life". After having briefly attended Middlebury College, she enrolled at Colorado State University for a year. Peterson later studied at the University of Northern Colorado. In 2012, she briefly modeled for a Colorado photographer.
Peterson was twice married and had two children. She was first married to Joseph Robert Skutvik. After their divorce, she married David Hartley. Peterson and Hartley were reportedly divorced at the time of her death.
Between October 2000 and May 2012, Peterson was arrested five times for various offenses including third-degree assault, harassment, DUI, and possession of drug paraphernalia and suspicion of distributing a Schedule 2 controlled substance. From September to December 2005, she spent nearly three months in jail. Peterson's most recent arrests were for a misdemeanor DUI and possession of narcotic equipment charge in April 2012, and a charge of suspicion of child abuse in May 2012 which was later dropped. According to Peterson's father, his daughter had previously struggled with drug issues, but was drug-free at the time of her death and had become "quite religious". He also stated that, in recent years, Peterson had suffered from sleep apnea and bouts of pneumonia and sinusitis. For the last three years of her life, Peterson was receiving disability benefits and lived alone in an apartment in Greeley after her second divorce.
On July 3, 2015, Peterson died at her home in Greeley, Colorado at the age of 43, five days before her 44th birthday. Her body was discovered on July 5 by police when her family became concerned after Peterson missed a scheduled family dinner. While the Greeley police would not comment on specific details due to an ongoing investigation, they did state that Peterson's apartment door was unlocked but there were no signs of foul play.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight shortly after Peterson's death, her mother stated that while her daughter had issues with drugs when she was younger, she believed her to be drug-free when she died. She went on to say that her daughter's death, "...was not, in any way, a drug thing".
An autopsy to determine the cause of Peterson's death was scheduled by the Weld County coroner for July 6 with the results of the autopsy and toxicology tests released on September 2, 2015. The medical examiner determined that Peterson died of an accidental drug overdose. According to the coroner's report, Peterson had undergone a hysterectomy shortly before her death and was prescribed Gabapentin for post-surgical pain management. Peterson was taking morphine at the time of her death; according to the report, she obtained the drug from a friend a week before she died. The report noted Peterson had prescription medications present in her system when she died that included drugs for treating lung and heart disease, anti-psychotics, and an anti-anxiety medication. Opiates and marijuana were also detected in her system. The coroner's report concluded Peterson experienced a "morphine effect" that triggered respiratory failure leading to her death.
In a September 2015 interview with talk show The Doctors, Peterson's family revealed that she was raped at age 15 and had not disclosed it at the time.