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Bridgette Andersen
Born (1975-07-11)July 11, 1975
Died 1997 (aged 21)
Los Angeles County,
California, US
Occupation Actress and model
Years active Late 1970s – 1987

Bridgette Andersen (July 11, 1975 – 1997) was an American child actress and child model. She starred in 1982's Savannah Smiles, for which she received her first of four Youth in Film Award nominations.

Personal life

Andersen was born on July 11, 1975, to Frank and Teresa Andersen. By April 1982, she lived in Malibu, California, with her parents, younger sister Angelica, and two brothers. As an infant, Angelica appeared in television advertisements for Bank of America and Mervyn's.

A reader since age two-and-a-half, the Havre Daily News reported that six-year-old Andersen had "a staggering IQ". Her favorite author was Ernest Hemingway, and her favorite book was The Old Man and the Sea. A fan of the TV series Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons, she decided to pursue acting, and aspired to produce and direct films as well.

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Career

During a February 1983 interview with Johnny Carson on his late-night show, Andersen related a family anecdote of her trying to climb into the television and play with Our Gang ("The Little Rascals") at age two. Caught by her father, she was taught about actors and acting, whereafter she secured a talent agent and began acting. She spent three years fashion modeling and acting in television advertisements. She also appeared in television shows including King's Crossing and Washington Mistress.

In 1982, Andersen starred as Savannah Driscoll in the film Savannah Smiles. Writer and co-star Mark Miller was inspired by—and wrote the part for—his daughter, Savannah Miller. However, when the film was ready to shoot, Ms. Miller was too old for the part at age eleven, so Mark Miller auditioned almost 150 children before discovering and choosing Andersen for the part. In a contemporary interview, Andersen opined that she and the Driscoll character were "like twins! We do the same things." According to The Cumberland Times, only three months after the release of Savannah Smiles, Miller was already writing another script to star Andersen.

That same year, Andersen portrayed the six-year-old Mae West in the biographical television film, Mae West. In 1983, Andersen explained that she preferred working in films versus television because they gave her more to do. During the 1983–84 run of The Mississippi, Anderson was nominated for a Youth in Film Award ("Best Young Actress - Guest in a Television Series") for her work thereon. Andersen went on to star in the short-lived CBS sitcom, Gun Shy; she portrayed Celia, one of two children won in a card game by Barry Van Dyke's Russell Donovan.

In her teenage years, Andersen had trouble finding acting work.

Credits

Film performances
Year Title Role Citation(s)
1982 Savannah Smiles Savannah Driscoll
1983 Nightmares Brooke Houston
1985 Summer to Remember, AA Summer to Remember Jill
1985 Fever Pitch Amy Taggart
1987 Too Much Suzy
Television performances
Year Title Role Episode(s) Citation(s)
1982 Washington Mistress Jenny Reynolds
1982 King's Crossing
1982 Mae West Mae West (age six) Television film
1983 Gun Shy Celia Six episodes
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre Gretel episode "Hansel and Gretel"
1984 Remington Steele Angel episode "Blood Is Thicker Than Steele"
1984 The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. Alison Lattimer Television film
1986 Golden Girls, TheThe Golden Girls Charley episode "The Truth Will Out"
1986 Between Two Women Kate Petherton Television film
1986 Parent Trap II, TheThe Parent Trap II Mary Grand Television film
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Jamie Wilde episode "Doctors Wilde"

Awards nominations

Year(s) Award Category Title of work Result
1981–82 4th Youth in Film Awards Best Young Motion Picture Actress Savannah Smiles Nominated
1982–83 5th Youth in Film Awards Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series Gun Shy Nominated
1983–84 6th Youth in Film Awards Best Young Actress - Guest in a Television Series The Mississippi Nominated
1984–85 7th Youth in Film Awards Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress in a Television Special or Mini-Series A Summer to Remember Nominated

Legacy

In 2015, actress Amber Tamblyn published her third book of poetry—Dark Sparkler—"featuring elegies to late actresses both legendary and unknown, all who suffered untimely deaths." ..... Wilsey's poem is written as "a meta-poem, where she's writing for Bridgette Andersen, and telling her how they're the same."

When MVD Entertainment Group published Savannah Smiles on DVD in 2018 as part of their MVD Rewind Collection, among the bonus materials included was "a featurette about the memories of Andersen".

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