- Rebecca Schaeffer
bgcolour = silver
name = Rebecca Schaeffer
imagesize = 200px
caption = Actress Rebecca Schaeffer
birthname = Rebecca Lucile Schaeffer
birthdate = birth date|1967|11|6
deathdate = death date and age|1989|7|18|1967|11|6
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Rebecca Lucile Schaeffer (
November 6, 1967– July 18, 1989) was an American actress who was stalked and then murdered, prompting the passage of anti- stalkinglaws in California. Schaeffer was best known for her role in the sitcom" My Sister Sam".
A former teenage model, Schaeffer co-starred with
Pam Dawberin " My Sister Sam", a CBS sitcomthat ran from 1986 to 1988. During her early life in Portland, Oregon, she was active with her synagogue, in which she was instrumental in expanding a Jewishyouth organization to nationwide prominence. Schaeffer lived alone and owned one pet, a catnamed Katharine, named after her favorite actress, Katharine Hepburn.
In 1989, she became a celebrity spokesperson for Thursday's Child, a charity for at-risk teens.
Schaeffer began her career in
New Yorkas a model, where she appeared in numerous magazines, including "Seventeen". From New York, she went to Japan for modeling work. She had a short stint on the soap opera" One Life to Live" before landing her role as Patti Russell on " My Sister Sam". Other credits include the films " Radio Days" (in which much of her appearance was edited out), " Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills", " The End of Innocence" and the TV movie "Out of Time".
Schaeffer was murdered by
Robert John Bardoon July 18, 1989. Bardo was fixated on Schaeffer after his previous fixation, child peace activist Samantha Smith, was killed in an airplane crash.
Bardo had written several letters to Schaeffer (one of which was answered) and twice attempted to gain entry to the "My Sister Sam" set, but was turned away by
CBSTelevision City security. Bardo, who had read in a magazine that Theresa Saldana's stalker, Arthur Richard Jackson, had obtained her address through a private investigator, used that approach to get to Schaeffer. He paid $250 to a Tucson, Arizonadetective agency to obtain her home address from the California Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV) [cite web
accessdate=2007-07-28 Cache from the
Internet Archive.] [cite web
date=April 13, 2005
title=Testimony of Robert Douglas, CEO of Privacy Today, before the
United States Senate Judiciary Committee
accessdate=2007-07-28] . After viewing her film "
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills", in which Schaeffer appeared in bed with a male actor, Bardo became intent upon murdering her for her perceived "loss of innocence,"cite web
title=The Stalking Death that Changed the Law: Rebecca Schaeffer Never Lived to Realize Her Success
accessdate=2007-07-28] traveled to Los Angeles and buzzed her apartment, requesting her autograph when she came down to answer the door.
Schaeffer, who was preparing for her audition for "
The Godfather Part III" and was expecting him to be the man delivering her script, [ [http://www.hollywood.com/celebrity/Rebecca_Schaeffer/197271#fullBio Rebecca Schaeffer at Hollywood.com ] ] gave him an autograph, [ [http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/Artists/S/Silberling_Brad/2002/10/02/pf-761702.html CANOE - JAM! - 'Shocking gifts' after Schaeffer murder ] ] then retreated back to her apartment. Bardo returned about 20 minutes later and buzzed a second time. Schaeffer once more came down, again believing it was the delivery man. [ [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0769726/bio Rebecca Schaeffer - Biography ] ] At his trial, Bardo stated, "She had this kid voice... sounded like a little brat or something... said I was wasting her time!... Wasting her time!" Bardo pulled out a gun from a brown paper bag, and shot her once at point-blank rangein the chest, in the doorway of her apartment building. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2003/03/07/1046826526535.html Print Article: Death on main street ] ] .
A neighbor phoned
paramedics, who quickly arrived to transport her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Schaeffer was pronounced dead 30 minutes after her arrival. The following day, Bardo was arrested in Tucson, after motorists reported a man darting through traffic on Interstate 10. He confessed immediately to the murder.
Bardo was tried by prosecutor
Marcia Clark, who later became famous for her role in the O.J. Simpson trial. Convicted of capital murderin a bench trial, Bardo was sentenced to life in prisonwithout the possibility of paroleon December 20, 1991.
Following Schaeffer's murder and Saldana's
assault, California laws regarding the release of personal information through the DMV were drastically changed. The Driver's Privacy Protection Act was enacted in 1994, which prevents the DMV from releasing private addresses. The law's effect has subsequently been diminished by online address search services.
Schaeffer's life and death became the topic of the first "
E! True Hollywood Story", which originally aired on March 29, 1996.
Shortly before her death, Schaeffer began dating director
Brad Silberling. Her death would serve as the inspiration for Silberling's 2002 film " Moonlight Mile".
Schaeffer's story is recounted in the true crime book "True Stories of Law & Order" by Kevin Dwyer and Juré Fiorillo. (Berkley/Penguin 2006. ISBN-10: 0425217353)
*imdb name|id=0769726|name=Rebecca Schaeffer
* [http://www.rebeccaschaeffer.com/ Rebeccaschaeffer.com]
* [http://www.thursdayschild.org/ Thursday's Child] The site contains long biographies and her complete credits.
* [http://www.findadeath.com/Decesed/s/Rebecca%20Schaeffer/rebecca_schaeffer.htm Find A Death - Rebecca Schaeffer]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1486 Find A Grave - Rebecca Schaeffer]
* [http://www.stalkingalert.com/articlesofinterest.htm Stalking: Legal Aspects of Stalking by Rhonda Saunders] , includes Rebecca Schaeffer's stalking case and death
* [http://www.obituariestoday.com/Obituaries/ObitShow.cfm?Obituary_ID=30335§ion=pin Schaeffer obituary]
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rebeccaschaefferalwaysremembered/ "Rebecca Schaeffer Always Remembered"] Yahoo group dedicated to Rebecca Schaeffer's memory.
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