By Sarah Hall
Nicole DeHuff, an actress who played Teri Polo's sister in Meet the Parents, has died of causes related to pneumonia. She was 30.
The actress died Feb. 16 in Hollywood, four days after she reportedly checked into a Los Angeles hospital, was misdiagnosed and sent home with orders to take Tylenol.
When her condition worsened, she returned to the hospital and was prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis and again sent home. Two days later, paramedics were called to her home after she collapsed, gasping for breath. By the time she reached the hospital, she was unconscious and passed away soon after.
Meet the Parents marked DeHuff's feature-film debut. She played Deborah Byrnes, the sister whose wedding prompts Gaylord "Greg" Focker's (Ben Stiller) visit to girlfriend Pam Byrne's (Polo) childhood home to attend the ceremony and, as suggested by the title, meet the parents. Hilarity ensues.
In one of the movie's most memorable scenes, a Speedo-clad Stiller spikes a volleyball into DeHuff's face, breaking the bride-to-be's nose and cementing his own unpopularity.
DeHuff also appeared in 2004's Suspect Zero with Ben Kingsley and in an independent film called Killing Cinderella.
She also starred in the as yet unreleased independent film Unbeatable Harold, directed by her husband, Ari Palitz, and costarring Dylan McDermott and Gordon Michaels.
On the small screen, DeHuff had roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Court, The Practice, Dragnet, Without a Trace and Monk. She also appeared in the TV movie See Arnold Run.
A native of Oklahoma, DeHuff graduated from the Carnegie Mellon University acting program.
She is survived by Palitz, her husband of four years, as well as her sister, her mother and her father.