Amanda Peterson, who starred alongside Patrick Dempsey in the hit 1987 film Can't Buy Me Love, has passed away at the age of 43. The actress, who played Cindy Mancini in the teen movie, was found at her home in Colorado on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
A cause of death is yet to be determined, although Amanda's father told TMZ that she had "some illness and a sleep apnea problem that may have contributed".
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Amanda Peterson and Patrick Dempsey in the 1987 film Can't Buy Me Love
Amanda started out in Hollywood in the early 1980s, securing a small role in the musical movie Annie, as well as bit parts in Boone and Silver Spoons. In 1985, she won her first starring film role in Explorers, alongside Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix – both making their film debuts – but her big break came in 1987 with Can't Buy Me Love.
She starred in the comedy as popular high school cheerleader Cindy Mancini, who agrees to pretend to date Patrick's nerdy character Ronald Miller in exchange for money. In the end, the pair wind up falling in love. The film became an instant classic amongst teens and made Amanda a big star.
She continued to act for several years, before quitting show business in the 1990s and moving to Colorado. Her last movie was the 1994 fantasy film Windrunner.
Amanda is survived by her second husband David Hartley and their two children.
Among those paying tribute to the actress was Sarah Michelle Gellar. "When I was younger, I used to want to be #AmandaPeterson," she wrote on Monday. "I even asked my mom for a white leather fringe jacket. #RIPAmandaPeterson."
Scrubs actor Donald Faison tweeted, "Cindy Mancini was my first crush. RIP Amanda Peterson", while Scandal star Scott Foley added: "RIP Amanda Peterson. The teen in me is heartbroken."