Andrea Fay Friedman Dead At 53

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Popular actress Andrea Fay Friedman died Sunday in her home in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 53.

The actress’ death was confirmed by her father, Hal Friedman, confirmed the actress’ death and said she passed away because of complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to The New York Times. Friedman was best known for her portrayal of Amanda Swanson in her breakout role on “Life Goes On,” and was one of the first actors with Down syndrome to be featured on television in the ’90s.

Friedman’s father reported she was unable to speak during the last year of her life because of her Down syndrome. The actress embraced her disability and spent the majority of her life dedicated to portraying characters with Down syndrome, often adding a refreshing layer of humor to her acting, as she broke down barriers, challenged stigmas and raised awareness about her condition.

Hal noted his daughter’s ever-optimistic outlook in spite of her challenges, saying she called her Down syndrome her “up syndrome,” during his phone interview about her passing, according to The New York Times.

Her debut on “Life Goes On” marked the first time a series starred a character with Down syndrome, according to People.


Some of her other acting credits included roles on “Law & Order: SVU,” “Baywatch,” “Saving Grace,” “ER,””7th Heaven” and “Chicago Hope,” according to People. She has also appeared on “Family Guy” as the voice of “Ellen,” a character with Down syndrome.

The last project before her death was in “Carol of the Bells” in 2019. (RELATED: Famous Rock Frontman Shane MacGowan Dies At 65)

In addition to acting, Friedman was also an assistant teacher at UCLA’s Pathway Program.

She is survived by her sister, Katherine Holland, her brother-in-law, Grant Holland, her two nephews, Lawson and Andrew Holland and her father, according to The New York Times.