Adam Rich's cause of death revealed

 June 25, 2023

A newly-released autopsy report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office reveals that actor Adam Rich, best known for his role in Eight Is Enough, died from the "effects of fentanyl." 

The report was released this week, nearly six months after Rich's passing.


Rich died on Jan. 7, 2023, at the age of 54.

After he had gone missing for two days, his deceased body was found in the bathroom of his Los Angeles residence by the manager of the apartment building. Reports, at the time, indicated that his body was already in a "state of mild decomposition."

Authorities, at the time, indicated that they did not believe that foul play was involved. Rather, they believed that Rich likely died of a potential drug "overdose." This belief, at least in part, stemmed from the alleged finding of a white powdery substance in the same residence where Rich's lifeless body was found.

Now, the autopsy report would appear to confirm these early beliefs.

The findings

The autopsy reports that Rich's "place of death" was his "residence" and that Rich's "manner" of death was an "accident."

The report further states that Rich's "cause A" of death was the "effects of fentanyl." And, it also indicates that Rich had non-toxic levels of alcohol and lorazepam/Ativan in his system.

Rich's struggles with depression and substance abuse

Prior to his passing, Rich had been struggling with depression and substance abuse for some time.

CBS News reports:

Rich had multiple run-ins with police related to drug and alcohol use. He was arrested in April 1991 for trying to break into a pharmacy and again that October for allegedly stealing a drug-filled syringe at a hospital while receiving treatment for a dislocated shoulder. A DUI arrest came in 2002 after he struck a parked California Highway Patrol cruiser in a closed freeway lane.

Not long before his passing, Rich began to public open up about his struggles with both depression and substance abuse. In October, he revealed that, after much help, he had finally managed to get sober and that, at the time, he had been able to stay sober for a period of seven years.

It was less than three months later that Rich was found deceased in his home. Subsequently, Danny Deraney, Rich's publicist, revealed that Rich had suffered from a type of depression that resisted treatment.

Eight Is Enough

As stated at the outset, Rich is best known for the role that he played on the ABC dramatic-comedy Eight is Enough. 

The series ran from 1977 to 1981, and Rich played Nicholas Bradford, the youngest son of the Bradford family.

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