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80s Actress Amanda Peterson Dies at 43

LOS ANGELES - Actress Amanda Peterson, who is known for her iconic role in the 80s teen comedy "Can't Buy Me Love," has been found dead at her home.

The 43-year-old actress was discovered Sunday, her father reported. Authorities said she had been dead at least three days when she was found at her Greeley, Colorado home. Her mother, Sylvia, said she felt her daughter's sudden death may have been due to various health concerns, like sleep apnea and heart issues. Peterson had been working on her autobiography at the time of her death.

The blond actress was known for portraying high school cheerleader Cindy Mancini, opposite Patrick Dempsey in "Can't Buy Me Love." Dempsey played a high school nerd who pays the popular cheerleader to pretend to be his girlfriend.

Dempsey paid his respects to Peterson with a tweet today, saying: "In my memory, she will always be vibrant and young. Gone too soon. Sending my thoughts and prayers to Amanda's family."

Likewise, Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted: "When I was younger, I used to want to be #AmandaPeterson. I even asked my mom for a white leather fringe jacket #RipAmandaPeterson." Angela Kinsey ("The Office") tweeted "My friends & I watched Can't Buy Me Love over & over. We all wanted to be Cindy Mancini. #RipAmandaPeterson."

Peterson first appeared on the Big Screen in the 1982 adaptation of the Broadway Play "Annie," at age 9. She would go on to star in the sci-fi comedy "Explorers" in 1985 with Ethan Hawke, then guest opposite Ricky Schroeder in "Silver Spoons," then as a series regular in the short-lived TV drama "A Year in the Life" in 1987 with Richard Kiley, followed by guest role in "Doogie Howser" and a number of TV and theatrical films like "Fatal Charm" and her last film, "Windrunner," in 1994, starring Margot Kidder.

Peterson is survived by her second husband David Hartley and two children.

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