Sarah Goldberg, who starred in the television series "7th Heaven" and the film "Jurassic Park III," has died. She was 40.
Goldberg died in her sleep of natural causes on Sept. 27 at her family's cabin in Wisconsin, her mother Judy Goldberg told the Chicago Sun-Times. She said a heart ailment is suspected, although an autopsy failed to determine the exact cause of death.
"She went to sleep and didn't wake up," she said.
News of Goldberg's death broke the same day that it was revealed her former "7th Heaven" co-star Stephen Collins was under investigation by the NYPD for child molestation.
Goldberg's entertainment career started as a bumblebee in a Chicago City Ballet production of "Cinderella," her mother said, and gained momentum when she was asked to be an extra on the Julia Roberts movie "My Best Friend's Wedding." She got the role because her mother co-owned a company providing table linens for a set. A film staffer saw her helping arrange tablecloths and asked her to be in a scene, her mother said.
Goldberg went on to appear in television series including "90210," ''Judging Amy," ''The Beast," and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
In "7th Heaven" she played Jewish medical student Sarah Glass Camden who fell in love with the son of a Christian pastor.
"She wanted to go to medical school, and instead for three years she played a doctor on '7th Heaven,'" Judy Goldberg said of her daughter, who graduated from Amherst College in 1996 with a degree in microbiology, according to her IMDB biography.
Her "7th Heaven" TV husband, Barry Watson, tweeted about her death.
Goldberg also played a college student looking for drugs in the Denzel Washington movie "Training Day."
The actress sometimes was credited under the stage name Sarah Danielle Madison.
Goldberg was born in 1974 in Springfield, where her father worked as a lawyer. She attended the Latin School of Chicago before going to Amherst. She practiced yoga and was a trick skiier.
"She could get on (skis) backwards and blow kisses to people and pretend she was a water skier," her mother said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.