Skye McCole Bartusiak was born in Houston, Texas, where she lived until her death with her parents Donald and Helen Bartusiak (née McCole). McCole Bartusiak first starred in Stephen King’s Storm of the Century as young Pippa Hatcher. She then starred in The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson, in 2000. She played the young Marilyn Monroe in the TV miniseries Blonde, and the psychiatrist’s daughter in Don’t Say a Word alongside Michael Douglas and Brittany Murphy, both in 2001. She also played young Charlie McGee in Firestarter: Rekindled and Megan Matheson during season two of the television series 24 (2002–2003). McCole Bartusiak made an appearance in the short film The Vest in 2003 and played the part of The Girl in Once Not Far from Home in 2005. She also tried her hand at theatre, playing in The Miracle Worker alongside Hilary Swank, which had a two-week run at the Charlotte Theatre in North Carolina.
In 2003, McCole Bartusiak returned to period drama with Love Comes Softly, and a year later she played the young Jackie in Against the Ropes alongside Meg Ryan. In 2005, she had main billing for her role as Franny Roberts in the hit horror film Boogeyman. She starred in the “Kids” episode of the hospital drama series House, and took a lead role as Sunshine in the film Kill Your Darlings, about a troubled teen who goes to extreme measures to gain the attention of her psychiatrist father.
On July 19, 2014, McCole Bartusiak died in her apartment behind her parents’ Houston home. Her mother told CNN and the Associated Press that Skye’s boyfriend found the actress sitting up in her bed; she began CPR on her daughter before the arrival of paramedics, who then worked “for 45 minutes” to no avail. Helen McCole Bartusiak said Skye “had been healthy and did not drink or do drugs”, but had recently been suffering from epileptic seizures; she believed that this fact had likely played a role in her daughter’s death. A memorial service was held in Houston six days later; her brother Stephen told mourners, “if you want to know what makes Skye happy, go out and plant a tree.” The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled in October 2014 that McCole Bartusiak’s death was an accident. The “combined toxic effects of hydrocodone and difluoroethane with carisoprodol” were listed as the main cause of death.
- September, 28, 1992
- Houston, Texas
- July, 19, 2014
- Houston, Texas
Cause of Death
- Accidental drug overdose