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Jonathan Brandis
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Brandis in 1993
Jonathan Gregory Brandis

(1976-04-13)April 13, 1976
Died November 12, 2003(2003-11-12) (aged 27)
Education San Fernando Valley Professional School
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–2003
Television SeaQuest DSV
Awards Young Artist Award (1994) for seaQuest DSV

Jonathan Gregory Brandis (April 13, 1976 – November 12, 2003) was an American actor. Beginning his career as a child model, Brandis moved on to acting in commercials and subsequently won television and film roles. Brandis made his acting debut in 1982 as Kevin Buchanan on the soap opera One Life to Live. In 1990, he portrayed Bill Denbrough in the television miniseries It, and starred as Bastian Bux in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter. In 1993, at the age of 17, he was cast in the role of teen prodigy Lucas Wolenczak on the NBC series seaQuest DSV. The character was popular among teenage viewers, and Brandis regularly appeared in teen magazines.

Early life

Jonathan Brandis was born in Danbury, Connecticut, the only child of Mary, a teacher and personal manager, and Gregory Brandis, a food distributor and firefighter. At the age of two, he began his career as a child model for Buster Brown shoes. At the age of four, Brandis began acting in television commercials. He attended San Fernando Valley Professional School, graduating in 1993.


At age six, Brandis won the role of Kevin Buchanan on the soap opera One Life to Live. He moved to Los Angeles with his family at age nine and made guest appearances on shows such as Blossom; L.A. Law; Who's the Boss?; Murder, She Wrote; The Wonder Years; Full House; Webster and Kate & Allie.

At age 13, Brandis was cast in his first starring role as Bastian Bux in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter. He played the young "Stuttering Bill" Denbrough in the 1990 television miniseries Stephen King's It, based on the epic horror novel of the same name. Brandis' performance in the miniseries was lauded by critics and audiences. Brandis was cast as the lead in two films made close together, first as Barry Gabrewski in Sidekicks and then starring as Matthew/Martha in Ladybugs.

Around age 17, 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. At the height of his popularity, Brandis received approximately 4,000 fan letters a week and had to be escorted onto the set of seaQuest DSV by three studio security guards because of the many female fans present. He voiced Mozenrath, an evil young sorcerer, in Disney's animated series Aladdin.

After seaQuest DSV was canceled in 1996, Brandis appeared in the television film Her Last Chance. His next role was in the television film Born Free: A New Adventure, which was shot in South Africa. He continued his career in supporting roles in Outside Providence (1999) and Ride with the Devil (1999). In 2000, he costarred in Bad Girls from Valley High, which, because of distribution problems, was not released until 2005, after his death. Brandis had a small role in Hart's War (2002). In 2003, he was cast in 111 Gramercy Park, a pilot that was not picked up by the network. He made his final onscreen appearance in action drama Puerto Vallarta Squeeze. That film was also released posthumously.

Personal life

From 1995 to 1998, Brandis dated actress and singer Tatyana Ali. The then-couple appeared in an article in People magazine in July 1996.


On November 11, 2003, Brandis was found unresponsive in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment. He was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and died the following day. He was 27 years old.

In 2021, Brandis' father Greg noted that Brandis was probably suffering from bipolar disorder. He told People, "[His death] wasn't due to the entertainment industry. I look back now, and in his 20s, he showed signs of manic depression. I hope that anyone suffering can go get help."



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Oliver & Company Additional voices
The Wrong Guys Kid Tim
1989 Pet Sematary Narration
Stepfather II Todd Grayland
1990 Ghost Dad Additional voices
The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter Bastian Bux
1992 Ladybugs Matthew/Martha
Sidekicks Barry Gabrewski
1996 Born Free: A New Adventure Randolph Thompson
1998 Aladdin's Arabian Adventures: Magic Makers Mozenrath (voice) Direct-to-video
1999 Outside Providence Mousy
Ride with the Devil Cave Wyatt
2002 Hart's War Lewis P. Wakely
The Year That Trembled Casey Pedersen
2003 Between the Sheets Robert Avocado
2004 Puerto Vallarta Squeeze Neil Weatherford Posthumous release
The Slainesville Boys Director and producer; posthumous release
2005 Bad Girls from Valley High Drew Filmed in 2000; posthumous release
2021 Kid 90 Himself Documentary; posthumous release


Year Title Role Notes
1982–1983 One Life to Live Kevin Buchanan Unknown episodes
1984 Kate & Allie Chip's friend Episode: "Odd Boy Out"
1986 Mystery Magical Special Himself Special
1986 Sledge Hammer! Young Sledge Episode: "They Shoot Hammers, Don't They?"
1987 Buck James Episode: "Sin of the Father"
Duet Danny Episode: "Jane's Getting Serious"
Good Morning, Miss Bliss Michael Thompson Pilot
L.A. Law Kevin Talbot 2 episodes
Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story Lance Reventlow (age 11) Television film
1988 Mars: Base One Television film
Webster Bobby Episode: "Take My Cousin, Please"
1989 Full House Michael Monford Episode: "A Little Romance"
Who's the Boss? Paul 1 episode
1990 Alien Nation Andron Episode: "The Touch"
The Earth Day Special Himself
The Flash Terry Cohan Episode: "Child's Play"
It Young Bill Denbrough Miniseries
The Munsters Today Matt Glover Episode: "The Silver Bullet"
Murder, She Wrote Kevin Bryce Episode: "If the Shoe Fits"
1991 Blossom Stevie Episode: "To Tell the Truth"
Gabriel's Fire Matthew Fixx Episode: "Truth and Consequences"
Our Shining Moment Michael "Scooter" McGuire Television film
Pros and Cons Danny Episode: "Once a Kid"
The Wonder Years Steve Episode: "The Yearbook"
1992 Crossroads Michael Stahl Episode: "Freedom of the Road"
Do Not Bring That Python in the House Gabriel Miller Television film
1993 Saved By The Bell: The College Years Himself Episode: "A Thanksgiving Story"
1993–1996 seaQuest DSV Lucas Wolenczak Main role; co-wrote episode "The Siamese Dream"
1994 Good King Wenceslas Prince Wenceslas Television film
Masters Of Illusion Himself Documentary
1994–1995 Aladdin Mozenrath (voice) 8 episodes
1996 Born Free: A New Adventure Randolph "Rand" Thompson Television film
1996 Fall into Darkness Chad Television film
1996 Her Last Chance Preston Altherton Television film
1997 Two Came Back Jason Television film
2003 111 Gramercy Park Will Karnegian Unsold pilot

Awards and nominations

Award Year Category Nominated work Result
Saturn Awards 1992 Best Performance by a Younger Actor The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter Nominated
Young Artist Awards 1990 Best Young Actor Guest Starring in a Television Series The Flash Nominated
1991 Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter Nominated
1993 Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture Lady Bugs (shared with cast) Nominated
1993 Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture Lady Bugs Nominated
1994 Best Youth Actor Leading Role in a Television Series seaQuest DSV Won
1995 Best Performance by a Youth Actor in a TV Mini-Series or Special Good King Wenceslas Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jonathan Brandis para niños

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