‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ star Amanda Peterson‘s mother recalls her daughter’s final hours, saying she it was a wonderful day. She was just forty-three years old and sadly unexpectedly the fresh-faced actress died in her sleep on Sunday.
In the wake of her daughter’s death, Sylvia Peterson recalls Amanda’s final moments to PEOPLE – moments spent making plans for a day that would never come for the cheerful star.
“She was in bed, and she’d had a wonderful day, and we were planning on a dinner the next day,” Sylvia says of her daughter, who was found dead at her Greeley, Colorado, home, “so it was just a very, very big surprise.”
At this time, a cause has not been said, waiting for an autopsy report.
But Sylvia tells PEOPLE she suspects that Amanda’s sleep apnea may have contributed to her death.
Local police were alerted after Amanda failed to appear for a scheduled meeting, and investigators later discovered her body at her home.
Also, remember by her mother, she was a lively woman filled with humor.
“She was just so much fun, and she was just great,” Sylvia says. “She had a cute sense of humor [and a] love of history – just a very, very cute person.”
She was just nine years old when she appeared in the adaptation of Annie, moving onto roles such as Doogie Howser, M.D. and Silver Spoons, the fantasy film Explorers and WindRunner. She had left the big Hollywood scene to go back to her hometown Greely, Colorado focusing on her graduate education, her church, and her family.
“She went back to school,” her mother says, “but she did not ever go back to Hollywood.”
“She lived in Greeley and she lived in Fort Collins, and pretty much just continued in graduate work and in studying in that kind of thing,” Sylvia adds. “She was very involved with her church work.”
She had two siblings, she was married twice and she leaves behind her husband, David Hartley, and two children, and reportedly she was working on an autobiography.