Tragic death from addiction
She had been arrested at least three times since 2010, once for driving while intoxicated and twice for domestic abuse. She recently filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against her husband, Robert Gilliam.
Lisa Robin Kelly, an actress best known for her recurring role on the hit sitcom “That ’70s Show,” died on Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 43.
Her agent, Robert Wyckoff, said that she died at a drug rehabilitation center but that the cause had not been determined. John Michas, her roommate and former boyfriend, had taken her there on Monday, Mr. Wyckoff said.
On “That ’70s Show,” which centered on a group of teenagers in a small Wisconsin town in the 1970s, Ms. Kelly played Laurie, the promiscuous older sister of one of the main characters, Eric, played by Topher Grace. “That ’70s Show” was a mainstay of the Fox network’s schedule from 1998 to 2006 and continues to be seen in syndicated reruns. “I love the character that I play,” Ms. Kelly once told an interviewer.
Information about her date and place of birth could not be confirmed, but according to the Internet Movie Database she was born on March 5, 1970, in Southington, Conn., and received a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.
Ms. Kelly made her professional acting debut on the sitcom “Married With Children” in 1992. She went on to appear on “Murphy Brown,” “The X-Files” and other shows as well as in the movie “Jawbreaker,” in which she played a cheerleader.
The first red flag for Kelly’s substance abuse problems went up in 2001, when she went from being a series regular on That ’70s Show to being written out completely by the end of season three. Rumors hinted her departure was due to a drug problem, but Kelly later said it was because of her drinking. She patched things up with the show’s producers temporarily when Laurie returned in season five; unfortunately, things went south again by season six, and Kelly was replaced in the role altogether by MADtv alum Christina Moore in 2003
Speaking with ABC News, Kelly said the claims against her were “all a bunch of made up stuff” and that she’d been sober for months. (Her mug shot would imply otherwise.) She also vowed that the adversity had only made her stronger and her career would be making a comeback. However, by November of that year, 42-year-old Kelly had married 61-year-old Robert Joseph Gilliam—and both were arrested in North Carolina after police responded to a disturbance call at their home. Both were charged with assaulting one another, and Kelly later filed for divorce, got a restraining order against Gilliam, and tweeted on June 23, 2013: “I am having a great day…………,free at last ,free at last. LMFAO. I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH MY MARRIAGE.”
Her estranged husband, Gilliam, blamed her relapse on her boyfriend at the time, claiming that in the two weeks leading up to her death, “she called me 22 times to get away from him.” The boyfriend retorted that Kelly’s problem was due to years of physical and emotional abuse from Gilliam. We’ll never really know the full story, but the end result is the same: a life once filled with potential, ended far too soon.