When Rebecca Lucile Schaeffer, a rising star in the entertainment industry with natural talents and a great personality, was shot to death right in the doorway of her Los Angeles home, it shook the business and the nation to its very core. After all, her assailant was none other than an obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo, who’d paid a private investigator to learn her address. As seen on ’20/20: Your Biggest Fan,’ the Tucson native had been stalking the 21-year-old for three years, almost since the start of her acting career, which ultimately drove his actions. So, here’s what we know of her work.
Which Movies and TV Shows Was Rebecca Schaeffer In?
Rebecca Schaeffer initially wanted to become a rabbi, but once she found the world of drama, she knew that acting was her true calling. By the time she was a junior at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, she’d turned into a professional model with works in both print and commercial. That’s when she relocated to New York alone to expand her wings further — at the age of 16. With her parents’ blessing and support, while Rebecca attended Professional Children’s School, she landed a role on a daytime soap opera called ‘Guiding Light.’ Then, in 1985, she was on ABC’s ‘One Life to Live.’
Following this television stint, Rebecca yearned to keep up with modeling and even ventured into Japan to find projects. Yet, when nothing panned out, she returned to the Big Apple and focused on acting. From there, she landed the role of Miss Crowningshield in a chapter titled ‘Miscalculation’ on ‘Amazing Stories’ and found herself on the sets of Woody Allen’s ‘Radio Days’ and Robert Butler’s ‘Out of Time.’ Rebecca’s part in the former was edited out, but she can be seen. In 1986, she’d also featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine, which won her CBS’ ‘My Sister Sam.’
Rebecca stared in this sitcom as Patti Russell for its entire two-season run until CBS canceled it due to low ratings. However, she’d demonstrated her skills and was on her way to become the “It Girl” of Hollywood. From ‘The End of Innocence’ to ‘Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair,’ her work spanned several genres. Regrettably, her 1989 role of Zandra in ‘Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills’ evolved into her unexpected downfall. There’s a love scene in this film, which her obsessed fan Robert Bardo did not appreciate, so he chose to punish her by taking her life.
Did Rebecca Schaeffer Know Brad Pitt?
In 1989, having been in the industry for less than two years, Brad Pitt was still relatively unknown. Although, he did have a connection with Rebecca Schaeffer. According to her then-boyfriend, filmmaker Brad Silberling, the now-superstar himself declared that he resided on the same street as the young actress when the crime transpired. By that time, she had moved to Los Angeles, California, and Brad was also there — right in West Hollywood.
We assume that they would have crossed paths even if they didn’t know one another. “We weren’t aware of the ripples going out right after Rebecca died. But it was an earthquake,” Brad Silberling told EW while revealing this fact about Brad Pitt. “It’s no consolation, but the impact of her loss and the sense of awareness and safety for younger actors was huge.”
Read More: How Did Rebecca Schaeffer Die?