HOUSTON (AP/WJLA) - Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who portrayed Mel Gibson's young daughter in the 2000 film "The Patriot," died in her Houston home Saturday, her mother said. She was 21.
Bartusiak's mother, Helen Bartusiak, told The Associated Press the actress had been living in a garage apartment at her parents' home. She said the actress' boyfriend found her unresponsive on her bed Saturday.
Helen Bartusiak said she tried to resuscitate her daughter but could not. She said the actress had been healthy and did not drink or do drugs and the family did not yet know a cause of death.
Bartusiak made her acting debut in the television miniseries "Storm of the Century" in 1999 and also had a role on "24" in 2002-2003.
She made her film debut in the "The Cider House Rules" in 1999 and starred with Michael Douglas in "Don't Say a Word" in 2001. She also starred in a stage production of the famous play "The Miracle Worker" as Helen Keller, alongside Oscar Award-winner Hillary Swank. Her most recent move was "Sick Boy" in 2012.
Bartusiak was best known for her role in Gibson's Revolutionary War epic "The Patriot," where she played the daughter of militia leader Benjamin Martin who struggles to speak with her father.
TMZ.com reports the family believes Bartusiak may have choked while having a seizure. Family members reportedly told TMZ that Bartusiak had suffered from a few seizures recently.