|Born||Judith Eva Barsi
June 6, 1978
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||July 25, 1988
Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Homicide|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills|
Judith Eva Barsi (June 6, 1978 – July 25, 1988) was an American child actress. She started her career in television, making appearances in commercials and guest starring in television shows. Her success in television led her to star in films such as Jaws: The Revenge and most notably providing voices for the characters of Ducky in The Land Before Time and Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go To Heaven, released after her death. She was small in stature and often played characters younger than her actual age.
After years of physical and mental abuse, her father József shot and killed Barsi and her mother in a double murder–suicide.
Family history 
József "Arizona Joe" Barsi had fled Communist Hungary after the 1956 Soviet occupation at age 19. He initially settled in France, and married a fellow Hungarian refugee named Klara, with whom he had two children, a son named Barna (1957-1995), and a daughter named Ági (1958-2008). József soon developed a drinking problem, and began to physically abuse his wife. Ági, and other close contacts, later wrote that József suffered from low self-esteem, stemming from mockery over his Hungarian accent and the social rejection he suffered in Hungary, due to his illegitimate birth.
After the family moved to New York in 1964, József extended his abuse to his son Barna, prompting Klara to escape with the children to Arizona five years later. Although József attempted to reconcile himself with his family, Klara filed for divorce after he threw a cast iron skillet at her in a drunken rage. Shortly after the divorce, József moved to California, where he worked as a plumbing contractor. There, he met Maria Virovacz, a waitress in a Los Angeles restaurant known as a meeting place for immigrants.
Maria, herself a Hungarian immigrant escaping the Soviet occupation, was born in rural southern Hungary, and suffered psychological and physical abuse from her father. The two married, and Judith's birth quickly followed in Los Angeles, California, where Judith was raised.
Maria Barsi soon began grooming her daughter to become an actress. At the age of five, Judith was discovered at a skating rink. She went on to appear in more than 70 commercials and guest-starring roles on television.
As well as her career in television, Judith appeared in several films including Jaws: The Revenge and provided the voice for the character of Ducky in The Land Before Time. Don Bluth, the director of the latter film, described her as "absolutely astonishing. She understood verbal direction, even for the most sophisticated situations," and had intended to use her extensively in his future productions, such as All Dogs go to Heaven. As she was short for her age (she stood 3 ft 8 in (1.12 m) at age 10), Judith began receiving hormone injections at UCLA to encourage her growth.
As Judith's career success increased, József became increasingly abusive, jealous and paranoid, and would routinely threaten to kill himself, his wife, and daughter. His alcoholism worsened, and resulted in him getting arrested three times for drunk driving. In December 1986, Maria reported his threats to the police, and also reported that József had hit her in the face and choked her. After police found no physical signs of abuse, Maria eventually decided not to press charges against József.
After the incident, József reportedly stopped drinking, but continued to threaten and abuse his wife and daughter. Before Judith left to shoot Jaws: The Revenge in the Bahamas, József threatened Judith with a knife, telling her, "If you decide not to come back, I will cut your throat." Maria stated that József showed her where he kept his gasoline, and warned her that he intended to burn the house down if she and Judith left. He reportedly hid a telegram informing Maria that a relative in Hungary had died, in an attempt to prevent her and Judith from leaving America. Judith told her best friend that József, in a fit of rage, once threw pots and pans at her in the kitchen, giving her a nosebleed. Due to her father's abuse, Judith began putting on weight and plucking out her eyelashes and pulling out her cat's whiskers. After breaking down in front of her agent during a singing audition for All Dogs Go to Heaven, Judith was taken by Maria to a child psychologist, who identified severe physical and emotional abuse and reported her findings to Child Protective Services.
The investigation was dropped after Maria assured the case worker that she intended to start divorce proceedings against József and that she and Judith were going to move into a Panorama City apartment she had recently rented as a daytime haven away from József. Friends urged Maria to follow through with the plan, but she resisted reportedly because she did not want to lose the family home and belongings. As József was obsessed with cleanliness, Maria stopped cleaning the family home in a bid to drive him out. Judith's half-sister Ági visited the house and later described it as a "living pigpen". A week before the murder-suicide, Maria told a next-door neighbor that she intended to cash her daughter's $12,000 federal tax refund check before József could get it.
Judith was last seen on the morning of Monday, July 25, 1988, while she was riding her bike on her street. On that same night, József shot Judith in the head while she was asleep in her room. Maria, hearing the gunshot, ran down the hall, where József met her and shot her as well. József spent the next two days wandering around the house, and said during a phone call with Judith's agent on Tuesday night that he intended to move out for good, and just needed time to "say goodbye to [my] little girl." He then poured gasoline on the bodies and set them on fire. He later went into the garage and shot himself in the head with a .32 caliber pistol. 
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On August 9, 1988, Barsi and her mother were interred in unmarked graves at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. The funeral was attended by about 75 mourners, many of them children. In June 2004, a fund was set up by Barsi's fan club to purchase headstones for their graves. Barsi's marker, placed on August 23, 2004, reads "In Memory of the Lovely Judith Eva Barsi 1978–1988 'Our Concrete Angel' Yep! Yep! Yep!", in reference to Barsi's character Ducky's catchphrase from The Land Before Time.
|1984||Fatal Vision||Kimberly (age 3)||Miniseries|
|1985||Kids Don't Tell||Jennifer Ryan||Television movie|
|1985||Do You Remember Love||Kathleen||Television movie|
|1985||The New Twilight Zone||Gertie||Segment: "A Little Peace and Quiet"|
|1985||There Were Times, Dear||Molly Reed||Television movie|
|1985||The Fall Guy||Little Girl||Episode: "Escape Claus"|
|1986||Remington Steele||Laurie Beth Piper||Episode: "Suburban Steele"|
|1986||Punky Brewster||Anna||2 episodes|
|1986||Trapper John, M.D.||Lindsay Christmas||Episode: "Life, Death and Dr. Christmas"|
|1986||Cheers||Child #1||Episode: "Relief Bartender"|
|1986||Cagney & Lacey||Shauna Bard||Episode: "Disenfranchised"|
|1986||The New Gidget||Little Girl||Episode: "It's Only Rock & Roll"|
|1986||Eye of the Tiger||Jennifer Matthews|
|1986||The Love Boat||Christmas angel||Episode: "The Christmas Cruise: Part 2"|
|1987||Destination America||Amy||Television movie|
|1987||Jaws: The Revenge||Thea Brody|
|1987||The Tracey Ullman Show||Little Girl||Episode #2.3|
|1988||The Tracey Ullman Show||Karen||Episode #2.17|
|1988||St. Elsewhere||Debbie Oppenheimer||Episode: "The Abby Singer Show"|
|1988||Growing Pains||Young Carol||Episodes "Graduation Day"|
|1988||ABC Afterschool Special||Billie Foster||Episode: "A Family Again"|
|1988||The Land Before Time||Ducky||Voice|
|1989||All Dogs Go to Heaven||Anne-Marie||Voice; Released posthumously|
|1992||Growing Pains||Young Carol||Episode: "The Last Picture Show, part 2"
- Johnson, John; Fuentes, Gabe (1988-08-07). "A Script of Fear : Repeated Threats by Father of Child Actress Carried to Tragic End". latimes.com. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- Barsi, Ági (1999), What will you do?, A Better Life, ISBN 0967169399
- DEATH OF A FAMILY - Judith Barsi's story (240p). Arnold Shapiro Productions. 1989.
- "Local News in Brief : Child-Abuse Files Ordered Opened". latimes.com. 1988-08-23. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- Don Bluth - ... on Movies, Games and Visions, yiya.de
- The Animated Films of Don Bluth:All Dogs go to Heaven, John Cawely
- Donnelley, Paul (2005-11-01). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries (3 ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 122. ISBN 1-84449-430-6.
- "Girl who appeared on 'Growing Pains' told show's star: My dad says he's going to kill me!". The National Enquirer. 1988-09-16.
- "A Lesson Learned From Family Tragedy". The Los Angeles Times. 1988-09-18. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- "Inquiry in Barsi Case Dropped Too Soon, Panel Says". The Los Angeles Times. 1988-09-07. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- Fuentes, Gabe (July 28, 1988). "Three Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
- "Local News in Brief : Bodies Identified as Child Actress, Mother". latimes.com. 1988-07-29. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- "Child Actress Is Slain, Apparently by Father". The New York Times. 1988-07-30. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- C. Phillips, Deidre (1988-08-10). "Child actress Barsi, mother buried". Los Angeles Daily News.
- IMDB biography. A photo of the gravesite shows the referenced text.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago Review Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 1-55652-591-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Judith Barsi|
- Judith Barsi at the Internet Movie Database
- Judith Barsi In Memoriam
- The Official Judith Barsi Memorial Site
- Child Actress Judith Barsi: A Life Cut Tragically Short, Crime Library
- Judith Barsi at Find a Grave