Old People’s Home for 4-Year-Olds star dies
Sad news today for fans of last year's hit docuseries Old People's Home For 4-Year-Olds, with the broadcaster announcing another of the documentary's subjects has died.
The five-part series paired a group of residents at a Sydney aged care home with a class full of kindergarten kids, in an effort to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Octogenarian Eric had one of the biggest transformations of the experiment: Frail, depressed and withdrawn before meeting the children, he emerged an altogether different man after several weeks spent in the company of his young buddy, Aiden.
ABC today revealed via social media that Eric died on March 24 this year, after turning 86 earlier that month.
Fans of the show have today paid tribute to Eric, who the ABC said "formed a very special connection (with Aiden) which gave them both much joy … Eric's honesty and integrity will be missed by all of us."
Eric and Aiden formed a very special connection which gave them both much joy. Witnessing this bond on #OldPeoplesHomeAU was a privilege that touched our hearts.— abctv (@ABCTV) April 23, 2020
Eric’s honesty and integrity will be missed by all of us.
3 March 1934 - 24 March 2020. pic.twitter.com/ARb7xXmoWk
In the final episode of the series it was revealed that Eric had stayed in touch with Aiden and his family after the experiment finished.
"Such sad news, they were quite a team, weren't they. I hope Aiden will remember his special friend for the rest of his life," wrote one fan on Twitter.
"Rest in peace Eric. Loved their friendship. One of my fave moments was when Eric was the first to go on the beach, and others had followed," said another.
"Rest In Peace Eric! Was lovely to see the love grow out of an unlikely friendship. Aidan will take the guidance and love of Eric with him in his heart forever," wrote another.
Another of the show's subjects passed before Old People's Home had a chance to air last year. Viewers who'd grown to love those featured in the show copped a heartbreaking shock at series' end, with a title card revealing that resident Grace had died in May last year, shortly after filming had wrapped.
Grace had one of the show's more heart-rending stories, as she struggled at first to make a connection with the preschoolers. She revealed she'd survived a devastating injury earlier in her life, falling eight metres out of a tree when she was just a little girl.
The resulting surgery left her with facial disfigurement, and she worried the children were frightened of coming near her.
It was a privilege having Grace on #OldPeoplesHomeAU. She threw herself into this social experiment with her infectious enthusiasm, which had an impact on everyone she met. We were all deeply saddened when Grace passed away and hope this series honours her remarkable spirit. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/lcqLnCxMxD— abctv (@ABCTV) September 24, 2019
"I grew up as a teenager not like the other girls - not nice looking, not anything," she said.
"Children don't warm to me, and I don't know whether it's my appearance."
Eventually, Grace let her guard down and relaxed into the experiment, forging strong bonds with the preschoolers.
Originally published as Old People's Home for 4-Year-Olds star dies