Who Was Amanda Peterson?
HER HOLLYWOOD DEBUT
Peterson made her film debut in a classic, the 1982 rendition of Annie. She was cast as a dancing extra, but the role launched her career: After the musical's debut, she began racking up film and television credits throughout the '80s.
MAKING IT BIG ON THE SMALL SCREEN
After Annie, an 11-year-old Peterson earned a guest spot on the sitcom Silver Spoons. It was the first of a few television roles – she also appeared on Doogie Howser, M.D. and Jack's Place.
THE MOVIE WE'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER
In her most memorable role, Peterson stars as a cheerleader opposite a pre-McDreamy Patrick Dempsey, who pays her to be his girlfriend in 1987's Can't Buy Me Love. Dempsey Tweeted his sadness at the death of his costar, writing, "In my memory, she will always be vibrant and young. Gone too soon. Sending my thoughts and prayers to Amanda's family."
HER LIFE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
Besides her starring role in Can't Buy Me Love, Peterson is best known for her turn on the TV miniseries-turned-full series A Year in the Life. The show followed a family after the death of their matriarch.
HER FINAL FILM & HEARTBREAKING DOWNFALL
Peterson last appeared on screen in 1994's Windrunner. After leaving Hollywood, she returned to her hometown of Greeley, Colorado. Between 2000 and 2012, Peterson repeatedly faced legal troubles and was arrested four times over the course of the decade. Most recently, she was arrested on May 3, 2012 for both a DUI and possession of narcotic equipment.
HER LEGACY: 'SHE HAD THE GREATEST SMILE'
In her final photo shoot, Peterson spontaneously posed with a motorcycle after assisting with hair and makeup for other models. Ryan Hartsock, the photographer behind the 2012 shoot, called Peterson "a kindhearted, great person." He added: "She had the greatest smile."