She doesn’t look like much of a celebrity does she? I mean can you believe once she was cute enough to be a child star? That’s one nasty shot. Then again, not too many of us look good in a photo booth. However. Anissa Jones was best known for her role as the adorable Buffy in the 1970′s series Family Affair. It had a decent run of 5 years before it tanked, leaving Jones without a career. From the time she was 6, Anissa worked 7 days a week filming and promoting the program. Wow. Give the kid a break already. When she was 11, Anissa starred as Carol Bix opposite Elvis Presley in The Trouble with Girls. Anissa auditioned for the role of Regan in The Exorcist but lost the part to Linda Blair. Anissa was offered a role on The Brian Keith Show, which had a 2-season run but she was uninterested in TV sitcom work and she refused. To see Anissa in Family Affair click here.
Anissa decided to pursue her education (smart move). She attended Paseo Del Rey Grammar School, Orville Wright Middle School and Westchester High School. In 1973, Anissa went to live with her father, who was divorced her mother. Her father however died soon after and she moved in with a friend, and promptly began skipping school. Her mother reported her as a runaway and she was sent to juvenile hall for several months. Thanks, Mommy Dearest. To see an interview about Anissa Jones click here. Starts at 32 seconds.
That’s where it gets tawdry.
Anissa returned home after juvie, began doing drugs and shoplifting. Somehow these celebrities always manage to scrounge up a few bills to feed their habit even when they’re broke, yet they occasionally resort to thieving to achieve other items. Whatever. She dropped out of high school and took a job at a donut shop, as prestigious as Dana Plato and the dry cleaning business. At 18 she was given legal access to a $180,000 US Trust Fund and US Savings Bonds, mostly acquired from her earnings during Family Affair. Smart move on her parents’ part. Anissa moved into an apartment with her brother Paul and dated a man who was also involved with drugs. Wonderful. To see Johnny Whitaker on the Old Geraldo Rivera Show click here.
Accidental Drug Overdose: On August 28, 1976, Anissa died of a drug overdose consisting of cocaine, PCP, seconal and quaaludes. The coroner who performed her autopsy claimed she died from one of the highest drug overdoses he had ever seen. In 1984 her brother Paul also died of a drug overdose.
Oddly, many people confused Anissa Jones with Susan Olsen, the youngest female Brady, “Cindy” on The Brady Bunch. To quell the drug overdose rumours and mistaken identity between herself and Anissa, Susan appeared on a number of talk shows imploring the public audience that she was not dead, but rather very much alive. Perhaps the public was referring to her career.