Skye McCole Bartusiak: Film and television actress who appeared in 'The Cider House Rules', 'Don't Say a Word' and 'The Patriot'


Skye McCole Bartusiak was an actress who played Mel Gibson's young daughter in the 2000 film The Patriot. Bartusiak, who had been suffering epileptic seizures, was found unresponsive on her bed by her boyfriend. She had been living in a converted garage apartment at her parents' home in her native Houston.

Bartusiak made her acting debut in the television mini-series Storm Of The Century in 1999 and had a role in 24 from 2002-2003. She also played the young Marilyn Monroe in the miniseries Blonde, and on stage appeared in The Miracle Worker alongside Hilary Swank, at the Charlotte Theatre in North Carolina.

She made her film debut in 1999 in the The Cider House Rules, Lasse Hallstrom's adaptation of the novel by John Irving, and starred as Michael Douglas's daughter in the psychological thriller Don't Say A Word in 2001. Her most recent movie was Sick Boy in 2012.

But Bartusiak was best known for her role in Gibson's revolutionary war epic The Patriot, in which she played the daughter of militia leader Benjamin Martin, who struggles to communicate with her father. Her feelings towards him change as the film develops, and she shared an emotional scene with Gibson when she tries to stop him leaving to rejoin his militia. The Patriot cast also included Heath Ledger, who died after an accidental overdose of painkillers and sedatives in 2008.

Her mother, Helen Bartusiak, said that her daughter did not experiment with drink or drugs but had suffered from epileptic seizures since she was an infant. These had apparently all but disappeared for a few years, but had returned the week before she died.

Skye McCole Bartusiak, actress: born Houston, Texas 28 September 1992; died Houston 19 July 2014.