Star of ’80s classic ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ dead at 43
GREELEY, CO — Actress Amanda Peterson, best known for her role opposite Patrick Dempsey in the 1987 movie “Can’t Buy Me Love,” has died, her mother, Sylvia Peterson, said.
“She died on Friday morning. It’s a big loss. Such a loveable person,” Peterson said. “She had some medical problems with her heart but we don’t know the cause yet.”
The family is awaiting autopsy results to determine the official cause of death, Peterson said.
Amanda Peterson was 43 years old, married and living in Greeley, Colorado, where she grew up.
The actress began her film career when she was 9 years old with a part in the 1982 feature film “Annie,” directed by John Huston, according to IMDB.com.
Peterson also had roles in the TV series’ “Father Murphy,” “Silver Spoons” and “Doogie Howser.”
She worked alongside River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke in the 1985 fantasy movie “Explorers,” but her most well known role would come two years later when she got the lead in the romantic comedy “Can’t Buy Me Love.” She played the most popular girl in high school, who is paid $1,000 by the class outcast to hang out with him. Eventually they fall in love. The outcast was played by Patrick Dempsey.
Peterson was nominated for a Young Artist award for that role, but did not win. She did win the Young Artist award later that year for her role in the TV drama “A Year in the Life.”
Her last credited movie role was in the 1994 film “Windrunner,” according to IMDB.com.