Jonathan Brandis was an award-winning American
actor who portrayed Lucas on the underwater
sci-fi TV series, SeaQuest DSV.
His motion picture credits include, The NeverEnding
Story II: The Next Chapter (1990), Stephen King's It
(1990), Ladybugs (1992), Sidekicks (1992),
and Outside Providence (1999).
His life was tragically cut short by his startling
2003 suicide at age 27.
Biographical fast facts
Full or original name at birth: Jonathan Gregory Brandis
Date and place of birth: April 13, 1976, Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.A.*
Date, time, place and cause of death: November 12, 2003,
at 2:44 p.m., Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (Suicide - Hanging)
Father: Greg Brandis (a former firefighter/food distributor)
Mother: Mary Brandis (a schoolteacher, personal manager)
Remains: Cremated - Ashes returned to his family.
Error corrections or clarifications
* Two errors that occasionally crop up include
the erroneous report that he was born in Los
Angeles, California, and another that he died
at his apartment complex in the 600 block of
"Detroit Avenue" in Los Angeles, "November 11,
2003, at 11:40 p.m." In point of fact, he died
the next day at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
in Los Angeles.
NOTE: Contrary to the Los Angeles Police
Department press release dated November 20, 2003,
regarding the, "Jonathan Brandis' Suicide
Investigation" (and countless websites that
repeated the error), his apartment was located
on Detroit Street, not "Detroit Avenue." Detroit
Street is located between Cloverdale to the west
and La Brea to the east. His apartment building
is in the 600 block of Detroit Street just off
Wilshire Boulevard. One can confirm this fact by
simply checking the addresses of any of the many
businesses and apartment buildings located there,
or check any detailed Los Angeles street map and
look a few blocks east of the La Brea Tar Pits and
Hancock Park, and you'll find the location of his
apartment building on Detroit Street.
As a young child, Jonathan Brandis appeared in a
string of dozens of commercials and landed a
recurring role in 1982 as young Kevin Riley Buchanan
on the ABC soap, One Life to Live. A number of
guest appearances followed on series such as
Sledge Hammer!, L.A. Law, Webster,
Saved by the Bell, Full House, Who's the Boss?,
Murder, She Wrote, Alien Nation, The Flash,
Gabriel's Fire, The Wonder Years, and Blossom.
He was best known for his portrayal of the
dolphin-tending boy genius, Lucas Wolenczek,
on Steven Spielberg's SeaQuest DSV
(1993-1996). Some of his other credits include,
Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story
(1987), Stepfather II (1989), The NeverEnding
Story II: The Next Chapter (1990), Stephen King's
It (1990), Ladybugs (1992), Sidekicks (1992),
Outside Providence (1999), Ride with the Devil
(1999), and Hart's War (2002).
He had hopes of moving into writing and directing,
and actually wrote an episode of SeaQuest DSV
titled, "The Siamese Dream" (1995), and was slated
to write and direct other episodes of the series
when it was cancelled.
He died November 12th, 2003, the result of a
suicide. It was reported that Jonathan did not
leave a suicide note. His mother claimed he had
no prior suicide attempts and did not abuse
drugs. The autopsy confirmed there were no drugs
in his system and only a minimal amount of alcohol.
There were no major personal problems, other
than the fact he was lonely and depressed about
a lull in his career, although he'd still been
finding work in smaller movies, and even a few
small parts in major films. He was proud of his
work in the Bruce Willis film, Hart's War, and
friends confirmed he was upset when the role
he hoped would be his comeback, ended up on the
cutting room floor. Jonathan Brandis was a former
"teen idol" popular in many teen magazines in the
early 1990s. At the peak of his popularity, he
received over 10,000 fan letters each month.
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