Actress Stephanie Niznik passed away unexpectedly in California last month. A native of Brewer, she had many one-off roles on TV and in small films before landing her biggest role on the drama Everwood, playing the part of "Nina," the neighbor of Treat Williams' character on the show.

Niznik graduated from John Bapst Memorial High School in 1986, and was co-valedictorian. After high school, she was accepted to Harvard, but eventually settled on Duke University, where she took acting classes as a distraction from her original course of study in genetics, which was very stressful, according to the BDN.

But she ended up loving her acting classes so much, that she switched her major to theater. After college, she moved to Hollywood to make a go of it in the acting world. She had parts, on Murder She Wrote, JAG, and eventually a recurring role on Diagnosis Murder.

At this time, her cause of death has not been made public, but she is survived by her mother, stepfather, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephews, aunt, uncle, and two special furry friends, dogs Nucleus and Jake.