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Ashleigh Aston Moore: Child Star's Tragedy
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Ashleigh Aston Moore, born Ashley Rogers, was a talented American child actress best known for her role as Chrissy DeWitt in the 1995 coming-of-age film "Now and Then". Tragically, her promising life and career were cut short when she died at the age of 26 from an accidental drug overdose.

Early Life and Family Background

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Ashleigh Aston Moore was born on September 30, 1981 in Sunnyvale, California to parents Cynthia Moore, an interior designer, and James Moore. She grew up primarily in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada where she was raised mostly by her mother, as her father was not around for much of her life. From a young age, Ashleigh showed a passion for acting. With encouragement from her mother, she began pursuing her dreams of becoming an actress at just 4 years old, starting out in commercials.
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Breakout Role: Now and Then

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Ashleigh Aston Moore's most iconic and memorable role was as Chrissy DeWitt in the 1995 coming-of-age film "Now and Then". The movie follows four childhood friends during two time periods - as 12-year-olds in 1970 and as adults reuniting in 1991. Moore played the younger version of Rita Wilson's character Chrissy.
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In the film, Moore starred alongside a cast of both established and up-and-coming actresses. The adult versions of the characters were played by Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Melanie Griffith, and Rita Wilson, while the younger versions were portrayed by Gaby Hoffmann, Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, and Ashleigh Aston Moore respectively.
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"Now and Then" stood out as a rare female-centric coming-of-age story. It honestly depicted the joys and struggles of girlhood friendships and growing up. Moore's character Chrissy was the most naive and sheltered of the group. A key storyline involved Chrissy getting her first period and the girls trying to help her hide it from others. For the role, Moore had to gain a significant amount of weight, around 20 pounds, which later contributed to lifelong issues with her body image and self-esteem as a young actress.
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Nevertheless, her earnest and endearing performance was praised by critics and audiences. "Now and Then" was a box office success, grossing over $37 million worldwide. It has gone on to become a beloved classic, especially for young women who came of age in the 1990s. Moore's portrayal of Chrissy was an integral part of the film's charm and emotional resonance. The role remains her most well-known and career-defining performance.
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Career Highlgihts

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Ashleigh Aston Moore had a promising acting career that began at a young age. Some highlights of her career include:
  • First major role in the Canadian TV series The Odyssey (1992-1994), where she played the dual roles of Alpha and Donna Archipenko for 37 episodes. Her work on the show earned her a YTV Achievement Award for acting in 1995.
  • Breakthrough performance as Chrissy DeWitt in the 1995 coming-of-age film Now and Then. In the movie, set in 1970, Moore played the younger version of Christina Ricci's character alongside a cast that included Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Thora Birch, Gaby Hoffmann, and Melanie Griffith.
  • Other notable film roles in Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995) as Tracy Briggs and The Grave (1996) as Marlene.
  • Guest starring TV roles on popular 1990s shows such as Northern Exposure in 1995, Madison in 1994-1995, Strange Luck in 1996, and Touched by an Angel in 1997.
  • Nominated for a Gemini Award in 1994 for Best Supporting Actress for the TV movie Family of Strangers and a Young Artist Award in 1996 as part of the ensemble of Now and Then.
Despite no longer acting after 1997, Ashleigh Aston Moore left a lasting impact with her talent showcased in The Odyssey and her memorable performance in the classic Now and Then. Her career, though short, demonstrated her potential as a skilled young actress.
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Awards and Nominations

During her short but impactful career, Ashleigh Aston Moore received recognition for her acting talent:
  • Won the YTV Achievement Award in 1995 for her performance as Alpha and Donna Archipenko in the Canadian TV series The Odyssey.
  • Nominated for a Gemini Award in 1994 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for the TV movie Family of Strangers.
  • Nominated for a Young Artist Award in 1996 as part of the Best Young Ensemble in a Feature Film for her role as Chrissy DeWitt in Now and Then.
While she did not win the Gemini or Young Artist Awards, the nominations alone were an honor, acknowledging her skills as a young performer. The YTV Achievement Award win celebrated her standout work in The Odyssey early in her career.
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Struggles with Self-Image and Weight Gain

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Ashleigh Aston Moore's most prominent role as Chrissy DeWitt in "Now and Then" required her to gain a significant amount of weight at a young age. The then 12-13 year old actress had to put on 20 pounds for the part, which proved to be a major challenge. This dramatic weight gain at such a formative age caused Ashleigh to develop lifelong struggles with self-image and body issues. Throughout the film, her character Chrissy was frequently mocked and dubbed as "fat", despite Moore only having a slightly larger frame than her co-stars. Being subjected to this type of harsh judgment and fat-shaming on a major Hollywood production undoubtedly took a toll on the young star's self-esteem and perception of her own body. Sadly, these weighty expectations and pressures are all too common for many actresses, especially those who start out in the industry at a young age like Ashleigh did.
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Tragic Death at 26

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Ashleigh Aston Moore tragically passed away on December 10, 2007 at the young age of 26 in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. The exact circumstances surrounding her death have been the subject of some conflicting reports. Several sources state that she died from an accidental drug overdose, specifically heroin. However, other sources have mentioned pneumonia and bronchitis as contributing factors in her passing. What is clear is that her death was sudden and unexpected, cutting short a life and career that held so much promise. The loss of Ashleigh Aston Moore at such a young age was devastating to her family, friends and fans who remember her talent and kind spirit.
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Closing Thoughts

Ashleigh Aston Moore's life and career were tragically cut short, but her impact and the memories she created live on. Though she only graced our screens for a few short years, her talent and potential were undeniable. Her breakout role as Chrissy in "Now and Then" touched the hearts of many and remains beloved by fans who grew up with the coming-of-age classic. Sadly, Ashleigh's story is one that has become all too common in Hollywood - a promising young star whose light was extinguished far too soon by the perils of addiction. Her accidental drug overdose at the age of 26 sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry and served as yet another heartbreaking reminder of the vulnerabilities child actors often face. Though the exact details of her passing may remain unclear, what is certain is that Ashleigh Aston Moore was a gifted actress who brought joy and laughter to many through her work. She may be gone, but her spirit and the characters she brought to life will endure and continue to inspire audiences, especially young girls who see themselves in her memorable performances. Her legacy is one of a bright talent lost too soon, but never forgotten.
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