Welcome to the Official Heather O’Rourke Fansite
Heather O’Rourke was born on December 27, 1975 in Santee, San Diego, California to Kathleen and Michael O’Rourke. She also had an older sister, Tammy. Heather began at age 3 to star in commercials and in advertisments for Mattel toys. She also performed on stage with her sister.
One day in 1980, Heather, her mother Kathleen and sister Tammy was having lunch in the MGM commissary. Her sister was working as a dancer in the movie Pennies from Heaven. Heather was sitting alone at a table, waiting for her mother to come back with the food when a stranger walked up to her and asked her name. Heather told him “My name is Heather O’Rourke, but you’re a stranger, and I can’t talk to you.” When her mother came back the stranger introduced himself. It was Steven Spielberg, and he was looking for someone to star in his new movie, Poltergeist. He asked her if she had ever been in a movies before. Heather responded, “No, I haven’t.” Spelberg invited Heather to do an audition for the part as Carol Anne, the little girl who is abducted by ghosts. Spielberg tried to scare her with a stuffed pink pig and a purple fish, but instead she began laughing. Then he commanded “Scream and cry.” Heather began screaming, crying and ran her fingers through her hair. She screamed til she couldn’t take it any longer. Someone said she was too young. She was 5 years old at the time. Steven Spielberg called Kathleen later and told her Heather got the part. He said he saw something in her. Poltergeist was released in 1982 and made Heather a star. Her career had just started.
She became a recurring character on Happy Days, made a TV Special promoting the new Fantasyland in Disneyland called Believe You Can… And You Can!, and guest starred in Webster. In 1985 the production of Poltergeist II: The Other Side started. It had a new director, Brian Gibson. Heather, along with the cast from the first film returned to make the sequel. Heather didn’t like it as much as the first. She thought that the magic of Spielberg was missing. That same year she also starred in a TV movie, called Surviving. Poltergeist II premiered in 1986.
When not acting Heather was just like any child. She went to school and was a straight-A student. She also collected dolls and she really liked swimming. She had a St. Bernard called “B.”
Her acting career continued and she was guest star in shows like Our House and The New Leave it to the Beaver. In January of 1987, Heather began having flu-like symptoms and her hands and feet swelled. Her mother took her to the doctor and they confirmed it was just the flu. Earlier that winter she had been infected by a parasite, wich she got while drinking well water in Big Bear. She was cured. When the flu symptoms continued, the doctors diagnosed her with Chrone’s Disease. Despite her illness, in April of ’87 Heather was to star in Poltergeist III. This time, only Heather and her co-star Zelda Rubinstein was the returning cast from the first two films. Heather was on medication during production wich caused her cheeks to puff up. Poltergeist III wrapped in June, ’87 and was set for a christmas release. Heather was excited. “It’s a magician’s dream, and I’m with it when it’s happening, all with mirrors and illusions,” she said.
Heather got off her medication and she felt great. In late june, Heather and her family went on a road trip from Chicago to New Orleans and then back home to Lakeside again. Heather was well until January 31, 1988 when she woke up in the middle of night feeling sick. She went to bed with her parents. The next morning, on february 1st, Heather still didn’t feel well. Her mother made her some toast, but she couldn’t swallow. Heather insisted she was going to school but Kathleen told her she was not. She noticed Heather’s hands were really cold and turning blue. She told Heather to get dressed while she called the doctors. Heather fainted on the floor, and it was then Kathleen called the paramedics. When they arrived they asked Heather if she was feeling bad. “Just a little,” she said, “I’m really okay.” She was worried about missing school that day. On the way to the hospital Heather suffered cardiac arrest. Heather had been misdiagnosed, and what was first believed to be Chrone’s Disease turned out to be an acute bowel obstruction, wich caught early enough would have saved her life, but while operating it was too late and she died at 2.43 P.M. She was 12 years old.