Skip to main content

'Patriot' actress Skye McCole Bartusiak dead at 21

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/20/showbiz/obit-skyemccolebartusiak/index.html' target='_blank'>Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak</a>, seen here with Mel Gibson in "The Patriot," died Saturday, July 19, at her home in Houston, according to her mother. She was 21. Bartusiak played Gibson's youngest daughter in the film, one of her best-known roles. Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, seen here with Mel Gibson in "The Patriot," died Saturday, July 19, at her home in Houston, according to her mother. She was 21. Bartusiak played Gibson's youngest daughter in the film, one of her best-known roles.
HIDE CAPTION
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bartusiak, 21, suffered from epileptic seizures in recent days, her mother says
  • "We think she had a seizure and choked and nobody was there," her mother says
  • Bartusiak played the young daughter of Mel Gibson's "Patriot" character
  • Her movie acting career began when she was just 6

(CNN) -- Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in "The Patriot," died Saturday at her home in Houston, her mother said Sunday. She was 21.

"We lost our girl," Helen McCole Bartusiak told CNN.

While investigators have not determined a cause of death, Bartusiak had been suffering from epileptic seizures in recent days, according to her mother.

"She was a kind and really beautiful girl," her mother said.

Click through to see people who died in 2014. Click through to see people who died in 2014.
People we lost in 2014
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: People we lost in 2014 Photos: People we lost in 2014

Bartusiak's most visible role was as the young daughter of Mel Gibson's Revolutionary War "Patriot" character in the 2000 movie.

Her movie acting career began when she was just 6 in 1999 with a role in "The Cider House Rules."

She played the daughter of Michael Douglas' character in "Don't Say a Word" in 2001.

Her last film role was the lead in "Sick Boy," a low-budget thriller released in 2012.

Bartusiak had been preparing to produce and direct her first feature film in recent months, her mother said.

Her boyfriend found Bartusiak sitting up in her bed in the garage apartment adjacent to her parents' Houston home, her mother said. "We think she had a seizure and choked and nobody was there."

Her mother said she started cardiopulmonary resuscitation on her daughter before paramedics arrived. "They were working on her for 45 minutes and could not get a heartbeat," she said.

"I've done CPR on that kid more than one time and it just didn't work this time," Bartusiak said.

She's suffered epileptic seizures since she was a baby, although they disappeared for a few years until returning last week, her mother said.

7 things to know about epilepsy

Bartusiak's mother spent Sunday morning looking through photos of her actress daughter for the funeral. The images include pictures with Presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush, Mel Gibson, Dennis Hopper and Michael Douglas, she said.

"The girl has lived such an amazing life," she said.

People we've lost in 2014

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:06 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year.
updated 4:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry has died at age 78.
updated 6:40 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Mike Nichols, the award-winning director and pioneering comedian who was one of the few people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award, has died at 83.
updated 9:13 AM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Jimmy Ruffin, silky-voiced singer of the Motown classic "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," died in Las Vegas at 78.
updated 2:04 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Prolific television producer Glen Larson passed away at the age of 77 after a battle with cancer. He produced many popular shows, including "Knight Rider" and "Battlestar Galactica."
updated 4:56 PM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
Diem Brown, the MTV reality star whose fight against cancer was an inspiration to many, lost that long battle at the age of 32.
updated 9:24 PM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
Former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne -- the first and, even now, only woman to lead that city -- has died.
updated 6:12 AM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
Actress Carol Ann Susi, whose brash Brooklyn accent reverberated on the hit television series "The Big Bang Theory," has died after a battle with cancer.
updated 10:35 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
A member of the Sugarhill Gang, whose pioneering hit "Rapper's Delight" brought hip hop to mainstream audiences 35 years ago, died at age 57.
updated 3:20 PM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Tom Magliozzi, half of the "Click and Clack" team of brothers who hosted NPR's "Car Talk" radio show, died at age 77.
updated 9:12 AM EST, Sun November 2, 2014
Wayne Richard Wells, the frontman and founder of the California metal band Static-X, has died. He was 48.
updated 5:27 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Thomas Menino, who retired this year as the longest-serving mayor in Boston history, has died at 71 after a battle with cancer.
updated 4:22 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Elizabeth Norment, best known for her role as loyal secretary to Kevin Spacey's character on "House of Cards," died of cancer at 61.
updated 11:03 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Zambian President Michael Sata, who was nicknamed "King Cobra" for his fiery comebacks and larger-than-life personality, has died. He was 77.
updated 8:07 PM EDT, Sat October 25, 2014
Jack Bruce, bassist for the legendary 1960s rock band Cream, has died at 71.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Ben Bradlee, the charismatic Washington Post editor who guided the paper through the era of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, has died. He was 93.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who spent half a century putting high society in haute couture, has died. He was 82.
ADVERTISEMENT