Adam Rich’s death, Fred Savage’s firing: Child sitcom stars from 70s, 80s then and now

Sitcom star of the 70s Adam Rich passed away at the age of 54.

Rich was known as “America’s Little Brother” after portraying Nicholas Bradford on ABC’s “Eight is Enough.” In the popular TV show, Rich starred as the youngest child of a family of eight.

“Adam was simply a wonderful guy. He was kind, generous and a warrior in the fight against mental illness,” his publicist Danny Deraney announced on Twitter. “Adam did not have an ounce of ego. He was unselfish and always looked out for those he cared about. Which is why many people who grew up with him feel a part of their childhood gone, and sad today. He really was Americas Little Brother.”

Adam Rich portrayed Nicholas Bradford on “Eight is Enough.”
(ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Before his death, Rich was working on a series “based on his life story,” his publicist told People magazine.

From Rich to Fred Savage, Fox News Digital explores 70s and 80s stars then and now:

Fred Savage

Fred Savage gained fame in

Fred Savage gained fame in “The Wonder Years.”
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Fred Savage was recently fired from his role as executive producer

Fred Savage was recently fired from his role as executive producer of “The Wonder Years” reboot.
(Getty Images)

Fred Savage began his acting career at 9 years old, and by the time he was 12, the actor was cast in “The Wonder Years.” The sitcom ran from 1988 to 1993. Savage starred as Kevin Arnold and appeared in 114 episodes, according to IMDB.

Savage was also known for roles in “The Princess Bride” and “The Boy Who Could Fly.”

He also became a director, working on TV shows including “2 Broke Girls” and “Modern Family.”

In 2021, the actor nabbed the role of executive producer on the reboot of “The Wonder Years.” However, his time was short-lived, as he was fired by Disney after allegations of inappropriate behavior on set arose.

“Recently, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fred Savage, and as is policy, an investigation was launched. Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his employment as an executive producer and director of ‘The Wonder Years, ‘” a spokesperson told Fox News Digital at the time.

Savage denied the allegations.

“Since I was 6 years old, I have worked on hundreds of sets with thousands of people, and have always strived to contribute to an inclusive, safe and supportive work environment,” Savage said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “It is devastating to learn that there are co-workers who feel I have fallen short of these goals.

“While there are some incidents being reported that absolutely did not and could not have happened, any one person who feels hurt or offended by my actions is one person too many. I will work to address and change any behavior that has negatively affected anyone, as nothing in this world is more important to me than being a supportive co-worker, friend, husband, father and person.”

Representatives for Savage did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment at the time.

Most recently, Savage appeared in episodes of “Family Guy,” “The Conners” and “The Afterparty.”

Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar on

Danica McKellar on “The Wonder Years.”
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Danica McKellar now stars in Christmas films for Great American Family.

Danica McKellar now stars in Christmas films for Great American Family.
(Getty Images)

Danica McKellar also launched her acting career with a role on “The Wonder Years.” She appeared in the 1980s sitcom as Winnie Cooper for 114 episodes.

Since then, McKellar has continued to act. She is best known for her roles in “The West Wing,” “Young Justice” and the film “The Winter Palace.”

After cementing her spot as a longtime Hallmark Channel star, McKellar left the network for Great American Family. The television network was started by former Hallmark CEO Bill Abbott.

McKellar most recently starred in “Christmas at the Drive-In.”

Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro gained fame on

Alfonso Ribeiro gained fame on “Silver Spoons.”
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Alfonso Ribeiro now hosts

Alfonso Ribeiro now hosts “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
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Alfonso Ribeiro got his first big break in the sitcom “Silver Spoons.” The NBC show ran from 1984 to 1987, and Ribeiro appeared in 72 episodes.

Shortly after, the actor was cast in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The sitcom, also starring Will Smith, James Avery, Karyn Parsons and more, ran from 1990 to 1996. Ribeiro appeared in 147 episodes as Carlton Banks, according to IMDB.

Alfonso Ribeiro in

Alfonso Ribeiro in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
(Getty Images)

Following his TV success, Ribeiro took over the hosting role on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” in 2015.

Most recently, Ribeiro was named a co-host of “Dancing with the Stars.” He also competed in the ballroom dance competition show back in 2014 and took home the mirror ball trophy.

“‘Dancing with the Stars’ has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I am ecstatic to officially re-join this tight-knit family as cohost,” Ribeiro said in a press release before season 31 premiered. “Tyra and I have a longstanding friendship that I hope will resonate with all of the fans at home as we kick off this new season on Disney+.”


Ricky Schroder

Ricky Schroder stars as Ricky Stratton in

Ricky Schroder stars as Ricky Stratton in “Silver Spoons.”
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Ricky Schroder went on to continue acting, landing roles in

Ricky Schroder went on to continue acting, landing roles in “Lonesome Dove” and “NYPD Blue.”
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Ricky Schroder first launched his acting career with the film “The Champ.” He earned a Golden Globe for his performance, making him the youngest recipient of the award. He was 9 years old at the time.

Following the film’s success, Schroder starred in “Silver Spoons.” He played Ricky Stratton in the TV sitcom.

He continued a successful acting career as an adult, appearing in TV shows such as “Lonesome Dove” and “NYPD Blue.”

Kirk Cameron

Kirk Cameron starred in

Kirk Cameron starred in “Growing Pains.”
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Kirk Cameron now hosts a Christian talk show.

Kirk Cameron now hosts a Christian talk show.
(Getty Images)

Kirk Cameron gained fame as Mike Seaver on the ABC sitcom “Growing Pains.” The TV show ran from 1985 to 1992.

Following the successful show, Cameron appeared in a handful of TV shows and movies including “Fireproof,” “Left Behind: The Movie,” “You Lucky Dog” and more.

Cameron has been hosting a Christian talk show since 2021. “Takeaways with Kirk Cameron” focuses on issues in Christian communities. The episode which aired on Jan. 7 focused on cancellation culture.

Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie Bertinelli gained fame in

Valerie Bertinelli gained fame in “One Day at a Time.”
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Valerie Bertinelli produced a cooking show for the Food Network.

Valerie Bertinelli produced a cooking show for the Food Network.
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Valerie Bertinelli launched her acting career on the TV series “One Day at a Time.” The CBS sitcom ran from 1975 to 1984. Bertinelli played Barbara Cooper and appeared in 209 episodes, according to the actress’ IMDB page.

Bertinelli’s most recent TV role was on “Hot in Cleveland.” The show ran from 2010 to 2015 and the actress starred alongside the late Betty White, Wendie Malick and more.

Now, the TV actress works as a chef on Food Network. From 2015 until 2020, Bertinelli produced her own cooking show – “Valerie’s Home Cooking.”


Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton in

Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton in “Family Ties.”
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Michael J. Fox announced the creation of the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, which has a goal of going

Michael J. Fox announced the creation of the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, which has a goal of going “out of business” or finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
(Jim Spellman/Stringer via Getty Images)

Michael J. Fox starred in the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.” The actor appeared in 172 episodes as Alex P. Keaton.

Following his success in the comedy TV show, Fox landed roles in a handful of feature films including “Back to the Future,” “Poison Ivy” and “Teen Wolf.” He also returned to television, appearing on multiple shows including “Spin City.”

Fox retired from acting in 2020 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Before his retirement, he appeared in two episodes of “The Good Fight.”

“I reached the point where I couldn’t rely on my ability to speak on any given day, which meant I couldn’t act comfortably at all anymore. So, last year I gave it up,” the actor explained at the time to AARP magazine.

Before his retirement, Fox created the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The non-profit focuses on research for Parkinson’s Disease.

“We created what has become this giant network of patients, scientists and institutions,” Fox told the outlet. “We’ve put more than a billion dollars into it.”

Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil Moon Frye as Penelope

Soleil Moon Frye as Penelope “Punky” Brewster.
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“Punky Brewster” was rebooted in 2021, but canceled after one season.
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Soleil Moon Frye gained fame for her role as Penelope “Punky” Brewster in the NBC sitcom “Punky Brewster.” The TV series itself did not attract the viewers needed to remain at the network and was sold for syndication.

Following the end of the show, Frye continued to act and appeared as a voice actor in several shows. She appeared in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “The Proud Family” and “Bratz.”

Outside of her acting career, Frye opened a children’s boutique – The Little Seed – in Los Angeles which closed in 2012.

“Punky Brewster” was recently rebooted by Peacock in 2021, but was canceled after only one season.


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