published Sunday, July 20th, 2014

McCole Bartusiak, actress from 'The Patriot,' dies at 21

Skye McCole Bartusiak, left, the 7-year-old actress who plays Mel Gibson's daughter in the movie "The Patriot," shares a laugh at lunch with 8-year-old actor Spencer Breslin, who co-stars with Bruce Willis in the movie "The Kid" at Planet Hollywood in New York in this 2000 image.
Skye McCole Bartusiak, left, the 7-year-old actress who plays Mel Gibson's daughter in the movie "The Patriot," shares a laugh at lunch with 8-year-old actor Spencer Breslin, who co-stars with Bruce Willis in the movie "The Kid" at Planet Hollywood in New York in this 2000 image.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HOUSTON — Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who portrayed Mel Gibson's young daughter in the 2000 film "The Patriot," died in her Houston home, her mother said Sunday. She was 21.

Bartusiak's mother, Helen Bartusiak, told The Associated Press the actress had been living in a garage apartment at her parents' home. She said the actress' boyfriend found her unresponsive on her bed Saturday.

Helen Bartusiak said she tried to resuscitate her daughter but could not. She said the actress had been healthy and did not drink or do drugs and the family did not yet know a cause of death.

Bartusiak made her acting debut in the television miniseries "Storm of the Century" in 1999 and also had a role on "24" in 2002-2003.

She made her film debut in the "The Cider House Rules" in 1999 and starred with Michael Douglas in "Don't Say a Word" in 2001. Her most recent move was "Sick Boy" in 2012.

Bartusiak was best known for her role in Gibson's Revolutionary War epic "The Patriot," where she played the daughter of militia leader Benjamin Martin who struggles to speak with her father.

"The Patriot" cast also included Heath Ledger, who died after an accidental overdose of painkillers and sedatives in 2008.

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