A memorial service was held Sunday for 48-year-old Brigitte Burdine, a Venice woman who was recently in Playa del Rey.
Family, friends and co-workers gathered at the House of Blues in West Hollywood to reflect and celebrate the life of a woman with "a heart of gold," said Mike Burdine, Brigitte Burdine's uncle and godfather.
Burdine was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone she met, Mike Burdine told Patch.
"Just about everyone in this room she’s helped at one point or another," he said.
Wanting to become an actress, Burdine moved to Los Angeles from Takoma Park, MD, in 1980 at age 18. Soon after she landed roles on popular TV shows such as CHiPs and Hill Street Blues and also played parts in several movies before making her transition to the video game industry as a casting director in 1999. Burdine's company, BB Casting, has cast roles for the industry's leading video game producers, including Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft and Activision.
"I grew up in Detroit, Michigan," said Harold House Moore, a voice actor cast by Burdine. "As a kid, you grew up playing video games and as a man ... I got my first opportunity to be in a video game. It was a basketball video game, which was my first love, and I remember auditioning and Brigitte was like 'It's OK, House, just do what you do and have fun ... just be you, you're great. ...' And I booked it."
"She loved being the mother figure," Moore recalled about Burdine.
Just before her death, Burdine was involved in organizing a fundraiser for a close friend, Andrea Kehayias, who had recently been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Kehayias "does not have any medical coverage, so we’re here to raise money for her as well as any patient who needs financial aid with this disease," said Burdine's sister-in-law, Laura Burdine.
Laura Burdine is helping to realize the formation of Brigitte Burdine's organization, the Andrea Kehayias Medical Fund.
"We’re going to be forming a formal charity in the months to come and we’ll be holding a charity music event here [at the House of Blues] in several months to help raise money as well," said Laura Burdine.
Burdine was a giving person and she always wanted to help people, said Kip Brown, a former boyfriend and longtime friend.
"When her younger sister, Heather, was ill, and Bill Clinton had just been elected president and he was trying to get health care under way, she actually wrote a letter to the White House," said Brown. "We were in Florida, at Disney World, when we got a call from Hillary Clinton’s office saying ‘She’d like you to come speak at the White House.’ "
Burdine was one of 15 people selected to talk with the president about the problems with health care.
"She even made the front page of the L.A. Times.”