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Patriot actress Skye McCole Bartusiak 'found dead at 21'

Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson's young daughter in the 2000 film The Patriot, has been found dead at her Texas home, according to the Associated Press.

Skye McCole Bartusiak Credit: Paul Smith/Paul Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

Her mother, Helen Bartusiak, said the 21-year-old actress had been living in a garage apartment at her parents' home in Houston.

Ms Bartusiak, who tried in vain to resuscitate her, said her daughter had been healthy and did not drink or take drugs. The family did not yet know the cause of death, she said.

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.

Her most recent movie was Sick Boy in 2012.

Bartusiak was best known for her role in Gibson's revolutionary war epic The Patriot.