USA: SCRIPT OF FEAR
judith Eva Barsi was the cutest thing on American TV in the 1980s.
With her brown eyes and dimpled chin, she starred in films, ads and sitcoms, such as the hit series Growing Pains.
But, behind her cheeky smile, was a scared child, abused by her violent father Jozsef
– a heavy-drinking, Hungarian immigrant with a vile temper.
In 1984, a TV producer had spotted Judith, then 5, at an ice rink. Within a year, her TV appearances were making her around $100,000 (£71,000) a year.
But, as Judith’s success grew, her dad’s temper – fuelled by booze – grew, too. He struggled
to maintain control over his famous daughter.
When Judith was filming Jaws: The Revenge in 1987, she arrived on set with bruises on her face.
She started plucking out her eyelashes, as well.
In 1988, Judith broke down at an audition. A child psychologist saw signs of abuse and social services were contacted.
But they backed off, when Judith’s mum Maria promised she’d leave Jozsef.
On 25 July 1988, Judith, 10, was seen riding her bike outside her house.
But, that night, Jozsef shot her in the head as she slept, before shooting her mum. He set fire to their bodies before taking a call from Judith’s agent. ‘I need some time to say goodbye to my little girl,’ he said, before shooting himself. The family slaughter shocked the world. Judith’s last film
All Dogs Go To Heaven, was released a few months later. The final credits song Love Survives was dedicated to Judith’s memory.
Her final movie