Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Dana Hill

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Famous For:
National Lampoon's European Vacation
Networth:
$100,000
Currently Known For:
Deceased
Famous Years:
1981 - 1996
Birthdate:
May 6, 1964
Dana Hill


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  Famous For:
National Lampoon's European Vacation

  Networth:
$100,000

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Over the years, we’ve seen far too many child actors that have lost their lives at a young age. Many of these times, we hear about the tragedies of actors that took their own lives after struggling with fame and substance abuse. Then there are actors that have had illnesses from their youth, and that includes Dana Hill. After struggling to manage the way she treated her diabetes, Hill passed away in the mid 1990s with an impressive resume that she amassed as a child actor.Advertisements:


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Hill was born on May 6, 1964 in Los Angeles, California as Dana Goetz. Her father worked often on television, directing and filming commercials for companies around the country. She was quite athletic as a child, as Hill was one of the best runners at her age. However, Hill’s athletic career didn’t last long as she had been diagnosed with diabetes after she went into shock during one of her races.

“I used the diabetes as my weapon,” Hill said of this time in her life. “Of course, I was only hurting myself and making myself sicker, but I guess it was something I had to go through. I never went overboard so much that I really hurt myself, but my early teenage years were very rough.”

Because of that, Hill wanted to turn her attention to acting, and urged her father Ted to let her act in commercials. He didn’t want to at first, but was eventually convinced when she used her mother’s maiden name to avoid any questioning of their relation. Hill had a very youthful appearance for her age as the diabetes had stunted her growth, not reaching 5’0” in her adult years, allowing her to play children well into her 20s. After doing commercial work, Hill was able to start landing character acting roles.

In 1978, a 14 year old Hill would make her acting debut on an episode of “Mork & Mindy”. Over the course of the next couple of years, Hill had appeared in multiple television films and miniseries, as well as an afterschool special. Then, in 1981, Hill had her breakout role when she was cast as Gabby Gallagher on the series “The Two of Us”, though it lasted for just 20 episodes over two seasons.

Hill was back to acting regularly following the series, though, making her big screen debut in the 1982 film “Shoot the Moon”, and followed that up the next year with “Cross Creek”. During this time she added more TV movies and had guest appearances on shows like “The Fall Guy” and “Magnum, P.I.” Hill then landed what is her most recognizable role in 1985.

Following the success of the first National Lampoon movie called “Vacation” that starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, the producers naturally wanted to make a sequel. However, the actors that played the children weren’t set to return. With Anthony Michael Hall already having a tied up schedule, it was decided to instead use two new actors to portray the Griswold kids. With that, Hill was cast as Audrey in the 1985 film “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”.

That same year, Hill also appeared in “Waiting to Act’, and “European Vacation” was her final live action film role. From 1990 to 1992, she had voice roles in movies about “The Jetsons”, “Tom and Jerry” and “Rover Dangerfield”. Instead, much of Hill’s focus had remained on television, especially when it came to voice work. She played a voice in cartoons like “Pound Puppies”, “The Flintstone Kids’” and “Mighty Mouse” to wrap up the 1980s.

In the 1990s, Hill added a starring role on a sitcom called “Sugar and Spice” to kick off the decade, but it was a short lived show that lasted for just seven episodes. That same year, Hill also added regular roles, all coming from voice work. You might recognize HIll from shows like “Widget”, “Rugrats” and “Darkwing Duck”, though she was most known for her role in “Goof Troop” where she played the voice of Max.

Hill had another long-running voice character with Charles on “Duckman” in the middle of the decade, and strictly did voice work for the rest of her career. Hill’s final roles came in 1996 with the shows “The Hot Rod Dogs and Cool Car Cats”, “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” and finally with “The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper”.

The diabetes diagnosis that Hill received as a child would play in an unfortunate role in her adult life. Hill had multiple complications from diabetes, and things got to their worst in her early 30s. Shortly after her 32nd birthday, Hill fell into a coma related to her disease, which was followed just a few weeks later by a stroke. On July 15, 1996, Hill had passed away after her long battle against her illness.

“It was in the middle of the night,” said her mother Sandy. “She just slipped out of that ruined physical body and her soul was freed… (diabetes) totally robbed her of her physical strength.” Director of “European Vacation”, Amy Heckerling, added that “Her laugh was the most contagious thing - so deep and from the soul. She wasn’t intimidated by anything.”

Many others that had worked with Hill had very kind words to say about their time working with the young actor. Her mother noted that “She had succeeded at everything she ever tried to do. There was only one area of her life where she was a loser, and that was her infirmity. Every masterpiece has a flaw. I like to think of Dana as our masterpiece.”

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