If the talk is about Hollywood actresses whose careers were cut short in their prime, then Dana Hill needs to be given a mention. She is an actress of American origin, noted for the part she played in the comic movie, known as National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Hills was equally good in sports during her youth but a diagnosis of Type1 diabetics put paid to her dreams of building a career in the sports, but it couldn’t hold her back from joining the entertainment industry where she succeeded in making a mark before the cold hands of death snatched her away.
Dana Hill will forever be remembered in the world of entertainment for all the memorable roles she played. Notable among them was Fallen Angel, where she gave expression to the character of a 12-year-old molestation victim called Jennifer Phillips. Hill also worked as a voice artist, providing her voice for different animated characters in the cartoons. Read on to get the full gist of her life experiences as well as when and what she died of.
Who was Dana Hill?
Her birth name was Dana Lynne Goetz and she was born in Encino, LA on the 6th of May 1964. The actress’ family is part and parcel of the American entertainment industry and has been in the business of movie-making for five generations. Dana Hill’s father is a popular producer and director Ted Goetz who made his mark in the production of TV commercials while her mum Sandy Goetz nee Hill took care of the home front as a homemaker.
Her parents had three children of which she was the oldest, with a couple of younger brothers namely Daniel Goetz and Mathew Goetz. She equally had four half-siblings from her dad’s earlier marriage to Jane Small, called Jack, Amy, Ted, and of course Beth who also died at a very young age from the ravages of diabetes.
During her formative years, Dana Hill was a sport stand out, excelling in basketball, swimming and track events in grade school. Her debut commercial was accomplished in 1973 for a YMCA advert alongside Boston Celtics’ Dave William Cowens who we saw in the advert whirling a basketball on her finger. In sports, Hill just turned 10 when she emerged 3rd position nationwide in the 880-yard run as well as 4th in the mile run. However, her dreams of going professional died on the tracks when she suddenly collapsed and her diagnoses of Type I diabetes was the final nail in the coffin. Consequently, she had to go on a sugar-free diet and was placed on regular insulin shots. Her condition resulted in life-long health complications as well as stunted growth as she never grew beyond 4 feet 11 inches.
Even with all her health issues, Dana Hill was still determined to make a name for herself, by the time she hit her early teens, the young talent was already nursing a healthy interest in the performing arts, and inspired by the likes of Mary Tyler Moore who is another sufferer of Type I diabetes, Hill was indomitable.
The young Hill joined the Cal Prep High School located in Van Nuys, where she made regular appearances in school plays, and also, made appearances in eight TV series and 6 television commercials. Against her dad’s wishes, Dana Hill went ahead to make her TV debut in 1978 on the set the ABC sitcom titled Mork & Mindy and recorded an admirable level of success before death came calling.
When did She Die, Cause of Death
Her diagnoses for Type I diabetes came after she collapsed on the race track at the age of 10, however, Hill started having other health issues at age 22, first she was diagnosed with kidney problem which resulted in a puffy face and later, a diabetic complication called gastroparesis impaired her natural ability to digest food.
After a while, Dana Hill began to experience mood swings and started depending heavily on anti-depressants and it was possible that she forgot to follow her diet. Late in May 1996, the promising actress slipped into a coma and later suffered a serious paralytic stroke on the 5th of June. Hill died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center located in Burbank, CA on the 15th of July 1996.
She was just 32 years old at the time of her death and Dana Hill was survived by her family which includes her parents, siblings as well as half-siblings, except Beth who had already died from a diabetic-related case. Hill was not buried, her body was cremated at Hollywood Hills’ Forest Lawn Memorial Park and her ashes are in the custody of her family.