As an angelic little blonde girl in 1982, Heather O’Rourke spoke one of the most famous horror movie lines ever: “They’re here.”
The movie was the mega hit Poltergeist. Heather would go on to star as Carol Anne in the sequel, where she declared, “They’re back.” But in 1988, at the age of 12, before Poltergeist III came out, Heather died in mysterious circumstances.
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Heather had a classic Hollywood story of being discovered. She was eating lunch with her mum Kathleen, while waiting for her older sister Tammy, who was a dancer in the movie Pennies From Heaven. Steven Spielberg, who was looking for a “beatific” four-year-old to star in his upcoming horror movie Poltergeist, spotted her. He asked her into his office, and tested her acting ability.
“He wanted me to be afraid of this pink fish and this purple pig and all that,” Heather later explained.
The next day, Heather was signed on to star in Poltergeist, scoring the role over Drew Barrymore. The movie is about a couple with three children who move into a house inhabited by spirits. The youngest child, Carol Anne, can hear the spirits through the TV set. She is sucked into a portal to another dimension, but later rescued.