Jonathan Gregory Brandis (April 13, 1976 – November 12, 2003) was an American actor, director, and screenwriter.
Brandis was born in Danbury, Connecticut, the only child of Mary, a teacher and personal manager, and Gregory Brandis, a food distributor and firefighter. He began his career as a child model and began acting in television commercials. Brandis landed a recurring role on One Life to Live when he was six years old. He moved to Los Angeles with his family at age nine, and made guest appearances on shows such as L.A. Law, Who's the Boss?, Murder, She Wrote, Full House and Kate & Allie.
At the age of fourteen, he received his first starring role in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter as Bastian Bux, a young boy who returns to a world of wonder on the wings of his imagination. That same year, Brandis played the young "Stuttering Bill" Denbrough, the main character in the 1990 miniseries Stephen King's It, based on the epic horror novel by Stephen King. Following this, Brandis appeared in Sidekicks co-starring Chuck Norris and Ladybugs with actor/comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Around the age of seventeen, Brandis landed one of his best known roles as scientific prodigy Lucas Wolenczak in Steven Spielberg's futuristic science fiction series seaQuest DSV. The role propelled him into teen idol status. During the run of seaQuest DSV, he also voiced Mozenrath, a young evil sorcerer and necromancer in Disney's animated series Aladdin.
In addition to acting, Brandis also directed several independent films and authored screenplays. During his stint on seaQuest DSV, he co-wrote an episode of the series entitled "The Siamese Dream". He also produced and directed the short film The Slainville Boys, shortly before his death.
On November 11, 2003, Brandis died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from injuries he suffered after he hanged himself. He was 27 years old. The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement regarding his death:
On November 11, 2003, at about 11:40 p.m., a friend of Jonathan Brandis called police to report that the actor had attempted suicide at his apartment, located in the 600 block of Detroit Avenue. Paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire department responded and transported Brandis to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he eventually died from his injuries. Brandis's death was announced by hospital staff on November 12, 2003, at about 2:45 p.m.
Brandis did not leave a suicide note, although friends were quoted as saying he was depressed about his career, which had slowly declined in recent years. One friend admitted that Brandis drank heavily, and had even mentioned that he might commit suicide. He was also said to be upset when his appearance in Hart's War, a role he hoped would be his comeback, was cut from the film.
Following Brandis's death, Paul Petersen, president of A Minor Consideration, an organization that deals with issues affecting child actors stated, "Speculations as to the underlying cause of this tragedy are exactly that: speculations. It serves no purpose to leap to conclusions for none of us will really know what led Jonathan to his decision to take his life."
|1987||Fatal Attraction||Party Guest|
|1988||Wrong Guys, TheThe Wrong Guys||Kid Tim|
|1988||Oliver & Company||Additional voices|
|1989||Stepfather II||Todd Grayland|
|1990||Ghost Dad||Additional voices|
|1990||NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, TheThe NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter||Bastian Bux|
|1990||It||Young Bill Denbrough|
|1998||Between the Sheets||Robert Avacado|
|1998||Aladdin's Arabian Adventures: Magic Makers||Mozenrath||Voice|
|1999||Ride with the Devil||Cave Wyatt|
|2002||Hart's War||Pvt. Lewis P. Wakely||Scenes deleted|
|2002||Year That Trembled, TheThe Year That Trembled||Casey Pedersen|
|2004||Puerto Vallarta Squeeze||Neil Weatherford||Released posthumously|
|2004||Slainesville Boys, TheThe Slainesville Boys||Director/Producer|
|2005||Bad Girls From Valley High||Drew||Alternative title: A Fate Totally Worse Than Death|
|1982||One Life to Live||Young Kevin Riley Buchanan||Unknown episodes|
|1984||Kate & Allie||Chip's Friend||Episode: "Odd Boy Out"|
|1986||Mystery Magical Special||Jonathan||Television special|
|1986||Sledge Hammer!||Young Sledge||Episode: "They Shoot Hammers, Don't They?"|
|1987||Good Morning, Miss Bliss||Michael Thompson||Pilot|
|1987||L.A. Law||Kevin Talbot||Episodes: "The Wizard of Odds"|
"Cannon of Ethics"
|1987||Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story||Lance Reventlow (Age 11)||Television movie|
|1988||Mars: Base One||Television movie|
|1988||Webster||Bobby||Episode: "Take My Cousin, Please"|
|1989||Full House||Michael Montfort||Episode: "A Little Romance"|
|1989||Who's the Boss?||Paul||Episode: "Your Grandmother's a Bimbo"|
|1990||Murder, She Wrote||Kevin Bryce||Episode: "If the Shoe Fits"|
|1990||Alien Nation||Andron||Episode: "The Touch"|
|1990||Munsters Today, TheThe Munsters Today||Matt Glover||Episode: "The Silver Bullet"|
|1990||Flash, TheThe Flash||Terry Cohan||Episode: "Child's Play"|
|1990||It||Bill Denbrough (Age 12)||Miniseries|
|1991||Gabriel's Fire||Matthew Fixx||Episode: "Truth and Consequences"|
|1991||Wonder Years, TheThe Wonder Years||Steve||Episode: "The Yearbook"|
|1991||Our Shining Moment||Michael "Scooter" McGuire||Television movie|
|1991||Blossom||Stevie||Episode: "To Tell the Truth"|
|1991||Pros and Cons||Danny||Episode: "Once a Kid"|
|1992||Crossroads||Michael Stahl||Episode: "Freedom of the Road"|
|1993||Saved by the Bell: The College Years||Himself||Episode: "A Thanksgiving Story"|
|seaQuest DSV||Lucas Wolenczak||57 episodes|
|1994||Good King Wenceslas||Prince Wenceslas||Television movie|
|Aladdin||Mozenrath (Voice)||8 episodes|
|1996||Her Last Chance||Preston Altherton||Television movie|
|1996||Born Free: A New Adventure||Randal "Rand" Everett Thompson||Television movie|
|1996||Fall Into Darkness||Chad||Television movie|
|1997||Two Came Back||Jason||Television movie|
|2003||111 Gramercy Park||Will Karnegian||Unsold pilot|
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work||Result|
|1991||Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor Guest Starring in a Television Series||Flash, TheThe Flash||Nominated|
|1992||Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture||NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, TheThe NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter||Nominated|
|1993||Young Artist Award||Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture||Lady Bugs (Shared with cast)||Nominated|
|1993||Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture||Lady Bugs||Nominated|
|1994||Young Artist Award||Best Youth Actor Leading Role in a Television Series||seaQuest DSV||Won|
|1995||Young Artist Award||Best Performance by a Youth Actor in a TV Mini-Series or Special||Good King Wenceslas||Nominated|
|1992||Saturn Award||Best Performance by a Younger Actor||NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, TheThe NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter||Nominated|
- "Jonathan Brandis Biography (1976–)". Filmreference.com. 1976-04-13. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- McLellan, Dennis (2003-11-21). "Actor Jonathan Brandis dies at 27". Los Angeles Times.
- Gould, Joe (2004-01-18). "Fans Weep For Danbury Star Whose Suicide Ended Career". Danbury News-Times.
- "'SeaQuest DSV' actor Brandis dead at 21". CNN.com. 2003-11-23. Archived from the original on December 11, 2003. Retrieved 2003-05-24.
- Benton, Nicholas F. (2003-12-04). "From Heartthrob to Heartache: The Suicide of a Former Teen Idol". Falls Church News-Press.
- Ortega, Albert (2003-11-24). "Teen idol Jonathan Brandis dies at 27". USAToday.com. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- The Siamese Dream at the Internet Movie Database
- The Slainville Boys at the Internet Movie Database
- Jewel, Dan (1996-07-08). "Young Love". People. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- "Tatyana Ali Biography". movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- "Ten actors who died in their 20s". smh.com.au. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- "Los Angeles Police Department: News Release". lapdonline.org. 2003-11-20.
- "A Teen Heartthrob Takes His Life". People. 2003-12-06.
- "Jonathan Brandis' Death a Suicide". eonline.com. 2003-11-20.