Heather O'Rourke was an American child actress. She was discovered at the age of five by director Steven Spielberg while eating lunch with her mother at the MGM commissary. Spielberg cast her as Carol Anne Freeling in the 1982 horror film Poltergeist. She would go on to reprise the role in the second and third installments.
In addition to her roles in the Poltergeist series, O'Rourke also had a recurring role on Happy Days from 1982 to 1983, and made several television guest appearances. She died at the age of 12 of cardiac arrest and septic shock caused by a misdiagnosed intestinal stenosis in February 1988.