Former U.S. men's figure skating champion Christopher Bowman, known as "Bowman the Showman" for his flamboyant personality on the ice and his oft-troubled life off it, was found dead yesterday in a Los Angeles-area motel room, the Detroit Free Press reported. He was 40.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said the department would have no comment until next-of-kin had been notified. Bowman's mother, Joyce, confirmed to the Free Press that her son had died.
"He just passed away in his sleep," she said. "His friend told me that he was fine. He just went to bed and didn't wake up."
Bowman, who was born in Hollywood, Calif., won two U.S. men's figure skating titles, in 1989 in Baltimore and 1992, and was a two-time medalist at the world championships. Bowman also competed at the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics, where he finished seventh and fourth, respectively.
A former child actor, he had a part in the TV series Little House on the Prairie for one season and appeared in dozens of commercials.
But Bowman's life was also a troubled one.
He once admitted to having a $950-a-day cocaine habit during his career, and he had checked into the Betty Ford Center before the 1988 Olympic Games.
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