While most of the US celebrated during the 4th of July weekend, the Peterson family mourned the one year anniversary of the passing of Amanda Peterson. The actress died July 3rd, 2015 and was widely known for her portrayal of Cindy Mancini in the classic 80s teen comedy “Can’t Buy Me Love”. A simple story about a nerd (played by Patrick Dempsey) who offers a popular cheerleader a thousand dollars to date him in an effort to make him popular, the film stands among other 80s classics like “Sixteen Candles”, “Just One Of The Guys” and more.
But it was Amanda Peterson, just 15 years old at the time, who owned the movie. She evoked a confidence and maturity usually reserved for actresses twice her age. Though her future looked bright, we were only to have a few more roles in forgettable films like ”Listen To Me” and “Windrunner” from Amanda before she disappeared from the spotlight and returned to her home state of Colorado.
After her death, her family revealed that at the height of Amanda’s fame, the teenage actress had been raped. The pressure of keeping the crime against her a secret lead her to drug use, her family stated.
Despite having had several drug related run ins with the law, Amanda had apparently become sober prior to death, only to relapse once again. Amanda died as a result of an accidental morphine overdose after years of struggling with heroin and meth addiction and depression.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” is a shining example of what might have been… a wonderful, engaging film with a beautiful and talented leading lady who should have gone on to bigger and better things. At it’s core, it is a film about self acceptance and finding the courage to be yourself. As 80s teen comedies go, it doesn’t get much better than “Can’t Buy Me Love” and Amanda Peterson.
I recommend “Can’t But Me Love” available on Netflix.
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