Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rebecca Schaeffer who played Patti Russell on My Sister Sam

Rebecca Schaeffer was born November 6, 1967 in Eugene, Oregon.  Rebecca is best known for her role as Patti Russell in the TV show My Sister Sam.


Rebecca Schaeffer of the TV show My Sister Sam

Rebecca began her career in modeling in New York City when she was just 16.  She began doing commercials and landed an appearance on the daytime soap One Life to Live co-starring in 1985. She then made the cover of Seventeen magazine.  In 1986, she landed an role on the series Amazing Stories co-starring Lana Clarkson, J.J. Cohen, Jon Cryer, and JoAnn Willette.



Rebecca Schaeffer graces the cover of Seventeen magazine

It was a short time later that she landed the role of Patti Russell on the TV show My Sister Sam co-starring Pam Dawber (Sam Russell), Jenny O'Hara (Dixie Randazzo), David Naughton (Jack Kincaid), and Joel Brooks (J.D. Lucas).  Schaeffer would play the role of Patti for three years until the show ended in 1988.



Pam Dawber and Rebeca Schaeffer of the TV show My Sister Sam
Rebecca Schaeffer of the TV show My Sister Sam

During her run on My Sister Sam, Rebecca also starred in Radio Days with Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Mike Starr, Don Pardo, Julie Kavner, Wallace Shawn, and Seth Green (1987).



The cast of My Sister Sam - Front: Rebecca Schaeffer (Patti Russell), Pam Dawber (Sam Russell) Back: Joel Brooks (J.D. Lucas), Jenny O'Hara (Dixie Randazzo), and David Naughton (Jack Kincaid)
Rebecca Schaeffer of the TV show My Sister Sam

After My Sister Sam, Rebecca starred in Out of Time with Bruce Abbott, Bill Maher, Kristian Alfonso, Leo Rossi, Adam Ant, and Rick Avery (1988); Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills co-starring Jacqueline Bisset, Ray Sharkey, Ed Begley Jr., Mary Woronov, Wallace Shawn, Arnetia Walker, Paul Mazursky, Susan Saiger, and Michael Feinstein (1989).


Rebecca's career was well on it's way and was set to star in The Godfather III when tragically, she was stalked by an obsessed fan, then shot and killed by him in front of her California apartment on July 18, 1989.  Her death led to changes in California laws relative to stalking and access to driver license information through which Schaeffer's stalker was able to determine where she lived via a private detective.


Rebeca Schaeffer, a life too short


Rebecca would appear posthumously in two movies she completed before her death which were Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair co-starring Burt Lancaster, Eva Marie Saint, Renzo Montagnani, Joseph Nasser, Brian Bloom, Dominique Sanda, and Robert Culp (1990); and The End of Innocence co-starring Dyan Cannon, John Heard, George Coe, Lola Mason, Stephen Meadows, Viveka Davis, and Michael Madsen (1990).

Had her life not been cut short way too soon, Rebecca Schaeffer may have gone on to be one of Hollywood's notable stars.  Her beauty and talent would have taken her a long way.






Rebecca Schaeffer's grave site

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