Amanda Peterson, best known for her role in the romantic comedy “Can’t Buy Me Love” opposite Patrick Dempsey in 1987, died Sunday in Greeley, Colo. She was 43. According to the Associated Press, she was found alone at an apartment complex.
In the film, Peterson played cheerleader Cindy Mancini, whom Dempsey’s character pays to pose as his girlfriend so he can make social inroads at their Arizona high school. The movie, directed by Steve Rash and with a title taken from the Beatles song, is among a set of teen angst classics of the period along with the John Hughes oeuvre.
She also appeared in films including Joe Dante’s 1985 effort “Explorers,” “The Lawless Land” (1988) and “Listen to Me” (1989); her final screen credit was for the 1994 feature “Windrunner.”
Peterson also had TV credits, including the 1986 NBC miniseries “A Year in the Life,” which paved the way for a series of the same name in 1987-88 in which she appeared in all 22 episodes playing Sunny Sisk. She also guested on “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” and appeared in the telepics “Hell Hath No Fury” and “Posing: Inspired by Three Real Stories.”
Peterson was born in Greeley and made her first bigscreen appearance in John Huston’s adaptation of the musical “Annie” when she was nine.
She had long since retired from show business and had been twice married, the first time to Joseph Robert Skutvik.
She is survived by second husband David Hartley and two children.