Although Jonathan Brandis is best known for his role as Lucas Wolenczak on the TV show SeaQuest DSV, I knew him as Michael (DJ’s boyfriend) from a Full House episode. I also knew him as the young Bill from the Stephen King miniseries “It”. (That book scared the hell out of me. Pennywise the Clown! Yikes!)
Jonathan Brandis is one of those sweet, sad souls who left us too soon. He was a gifted young actor with a long list of credits and experience before his untimely death.
Jonathan Brandis was born on April 13, 1976 in Danbury, Connecticut. He was an only child of mom Mary (a teacher) and dad Gregory (a fireman). Jonathan began his career at a very young age by modeling. He got his big break at age six when he started appearing on the soap opera One Life to Live. The family moved to Los Angeles when he was nine and his career began to flourish. He had roles on Kate & Allie, Saved by the Bell, Webster, Full House, Who’s the Boss, The Wonder Years, Blossom, and many others. He is best known, and shot to teen idol stardom, for his role as Lucas Wolenczak in SeaQuest DSV.
Fresh Prince of Bel Air actress Tatiana Ali dated Jonathan through the latter half of the 90’s. After more than five years together, the couple broke up in 2003. The split was reportedly amicable but seemed much more tragic when Jonathan committed suicide later that year.
Sadly, Jonathan Brandis died on November 12, 2003 as a result of hanging himself. A friend found him hanging from a nylon rope around 11:40 that night, cut him down, and called 911. Brandis was rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he died at 2:44pm the next day. Brandis left no suicide note but was apparently lonely and depressed and upset by the lull in his career. His mom said he could be very hard on himself. Like many teen idols, his fame faded as he grew up. His friends say he was proud of his work in the movie Hart’s War and was hoping it would be his comeback, but his scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. There was minimal alcohol (.03%) and no drugs in his system.
- John Ritter, who was in “It” with Brandis, also died in 2003.
- Brandis joins other teen idols who died in their 20’s:
- Other actors who committed suicide:
There have been a lot of celebrity suicides since Jonathan Brandis took his life that night in 2003. It’s sad when we lose any of these wonderful people, but I think it’s making us take a good look at mental illness. Mental illness is a serious problem and nothing to be ashamed of nor ignored. Suicide is never the answer. R.I.P., Jonathan Brandis.