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Jonathan Brandis

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.

Jonathan Brandis
Jonathan Brandis
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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