József Barsi was the father of American Child actor Judith Barsi. József Barsi’s daughter began her career in television, making appearances in commercials and television series, as well as the 1987 film Jaws: The Revenge. She was also the voice actor of Ducky in The Land Before Time and Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven. József killed her daughter, Judith, and his wife Maria on July 1988.
József Barsi: Bio Summary
|József Istvan Barsi
|Father of Judith Barsi
|55 years old at the time of death
|Date of Birth
|November 26, 1932
|Place of Birth
|Date of death
|July 27, 1988, Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, United States
|Judith Barsi, Barna Barsi, Ági Barsi
|Maria Virovacz Barsi (m. ?–1988), Klara Barsi
József Barsi was born on November 26, 1932, in Hungary. He was 55 years at the time of his death. He has been married twice. His first marriage was to Klara Barsi and the second was to Maria Virovacz Barsi. He was the father of three children: Judith Barsi, Barna Barsi, and Ági Barsi. Joszsef and his wives were immigrants to the U.S. who fled the Hungarian People’s Republic following the 1956 uprising. They immigrated at different times. József and Maria first met at a restaurant in California, where Maria worked as a waitress.
József Barsi abused her daughter and wife
Judith started acting at the very young age of 5 with her first role in Fatal Vision, playing Kimberley MacDonald. By the time she started fourth grade, the young actress was earning an estimated $100,000 per year (equivalent to $229,000 in 2021). Judith’s earnings helped her family acquire a three-bedroom house in West Hills, Los Angeles.
As his daughter’s career success increased, József who was an alcoholic and has been arrested three times for drunk driving, became increasingly angry and would routinely threaten to kill himself, his wife, and his daughter by cutting their throat and burning down the house. His wife has reported his threats and physical violence toward her to the police and has also told a neighbor about the threats.
However, after the police found no physical signs of abuse, Jozsef’s wife Maria Virovacz Barsi decided not to press charges against him. The police incident caused József to temporarily stop drinking but the threat against his wife and daughter continued. The young actress told a friend that her father threw pots and pans at her, resulting in a nosebleed.
The abuse had so much effect on Judith. She started gaining weight and also developed compulsive behaviors, such as plucking out her eyelashes and pulling out her cat’s whiskers. In May 1988, the child couldn’t take it anymore and broke down in front of her agent. After visits to a child psychologist, she was diagnosed with severe physical and emotional abuse and the findings were reported to child protective services.
Maria called for the investigation to be dropped after she assured the case worker that she intended to begin divorce proceedings against her husband József Barsi. She also revealed to them that she and her daughter were going to move into a Panorama City apartment she rented to get away from her abusive husband.
Judith Barsi’s father killed her and her mother
On July 28, 1988, the Los Angeles Times reported that three people were found dead in an apparent murder–suicide and that the bodies were believed to be those of József Barsi, his wife Maria, and his daughter Judith. A next-door neighbor Eunice Daly said she was watering her garden when she heard an explosion and saw smoke rising from the Barsi home and called the police.
“My first thought, as I ran in to call 911, was, ’He’s done it. He’s killed them and set a fire in the house, just like he said he would“- Daly said, as Apnews reported. The neighbor also confirmed Maria told her about the threats and the plan to divorce, however, she revealed Maria was afraid József Barsi will come after her and her daughter and kill them.
Judith’s body was found in her bed and Maria, 48, in a hallway, police Lt. Warren Knowles said. He said both were shot once in the head, with their bodies doused with gasoline and set on fire. Officials initially withheld the names of the woman and child while pending notification of relatives.
What happened to József Barsi?
After József Barsi shot and killed his wife, Maria, and his daughter, Judith, he doused their bodies with gasoline and set them on fire. After that he went to the garage and shot himself in the head with a .32-caliber pistol, investigators said. The coroner’s office said the dead man was Jozsef Barsi.