Who is Jonathan Brandis?
Jonathan Brandis was an American actor who came to prominence during his teenage years, for starring in movies such as “The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter” (1992) and “Ladybugs” (1992). He was also widely recognized from his appearances in the ABC’s soap opera “One Life to Live” and the NBC’s Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV series “SeaQuest 2032” (known also as “SeaQuest DSV”). He passed away in 2003.
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Early Life and Childhood
Jonathan Gregory Brandis was born under the zodiac sign of Aries on the 13th April 1976, in Danbury, Connecticut USA, the only child of personal manager and teacher Mary, and firefighter and food distributor Gregory Brandis. He was of white ethnicity and American nationality, and of Irish and Italian ancestry through his mother, and of English, Scottish and German descent through his father’s side.
He dived into the world of showbiz at the age of only two, when he became a model for the Brown Shoe Company, while at the age of four he was already appearing in a variety of TV commercials.
In 1993, Jonathan matriculated from the San Fernando Valley Professional School in Burbank, California.
Jonathan began his on-camera acting career at the age of six, when in 1982 he appeared as young Kevin Buchanan in an episode of one of the longest-runnng American soap operas – “One Life to Live”. After relocating to Los Angeles, California with his family in 1983, young Brandis went on to hone his acting skills through a streak of appearances in television series such as the Golden Globe-nominated “Kate & Allie”, “Sledge Hammer!”, and “L.A. Law” before making his big screen debut in 1988 in the comedy movie “The Wrong Guys”.
Later that year, he was cast for the recurring role of young Nick in the TV mini series “Pacific Bell: The Rain Children”, after which he appeared in the horror movie “Stepfather II” and TV series “Murder, She Wrote” and “Alien Nation”.
Into the limelight Jonathan came in 1990, when he portrayed the leading role of Bastian in the fantasy adventure movie “The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter”, for which he was honored with nominations for the Young Artist Award as well as the Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA.
Subsequently, he was cast to appear as Bill Denbrough in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV horror mini-series “It”, based on an eponymous novel of Stephen King, for which he was also praised by the critics.
With his popularity on the rise, young Jonathan appeared in several popular TV series at that time, such as “Gabriel’s Fire”, “The Wonder Years” and “Blossom”, before starring in the 1992 sports comedy film “Ladybugs”, for which he was honored with two more Young Artist Awards’ nominations. Later that year, he appeared opposite Chuck Norris in the action comedy film “Sidekicks”, after which he was cast for one of the most memorable roles of his career, as Lucas Wolenczak in the TV Sci-Fi series “SeaQuest 2032”.
The plot is set in the year 2018, and follows the lives of the high-tech submarine’s crew and their adventures while harvesting the world’s only remaining natural resources from the bottom of the ocean. In the course of the next four years, during the show’s three seasons-long run, Brandis appeared in 57 episodes, earning a huge dose of popularity.
Between 1994 and 1995 he voice-acted as the recurring character of Mozenrath in the TV animated adventure series “Aladdin”, before appearing in TV movies “Fall Into Darkness” and “Two Came Back” in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
In 1999 Jonathan Brandis guest-starred in the comedy drama movie “Outside Providence”, as well as in the war drama film “Ride with the Devil”. In 2002, he briefly appeared opposite Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell in the war drama film “Hart’s War”, while in 2003 he was cast in the critically praised TV movie “111 Gramercy Park”.
Between 1995 and 1998 he was in a relationship with a fellow colleague, American actress and singer Tatyana Ali, who is probably best known for her appearances in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” sitcom.
In 2000 Brandis dated another colleague, actress Monica Keena who is widely recognized for appearing in the TV series “Dawson’s Creek”, and movies “Freddy vs. Jason” (2003) and “Aftermath” (2014).
At the age of 27, on the 11th November 2003, Jonathan Brandis was found hanged in his apartment in Los Angeles. Despite all efforts from the medical team of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he died on the 12th November from the injuries sustained by hanging himself.
After his suicide, his close friends revealed to the public that he was suffering from depression, primarily caused by his ‘waning career’.
Authoritative sources have estimated that as of early 2020, the total of Jonathan Brandis’ net worth would revolve around the sum of at least $400,000, acquired through his prematurely ended career, during which he added over 50 acting credits to his professional portfolio.