Jonathan Gregory Brandis (April 13, 1976 – November 12, 2003) was an American actor, director, and screenwriter.
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 with a guest role on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Later in 1990, at the age of 14, he became widely known for his leading role on the Stephen King's supernatural horror miniseries IT. Then, at the age of 17, he landed the role of Lucas Wolenczak, a teen prodigy on the NBC series seaQuest DSV. The character was popular among teenage female viewers, and Brandis regularly appeared in teen magazines.
On November 12, 2003, Brandis died after hanging himself at the age of 27. At the time of his death, Jonathan had been in a six-year relationship with actress Tatyana Ali, best known for her role as Ashley in the series Fresh Prince of Bel- Air.
Shortly before midnight on November 11, 2003, Brandis hanged himself in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment building. He was discovered by friends who called paramedics who transported the actor to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Brandis died there on the afternoon of November 12 from injuries he sustained from the hanging.
Brandis did not leave a suicide note. After his death, friends said that he was depressed about his waning career, which had continued to decline in the final years of his life. He was also reportedly disappointed when his appearance in the 2002 war drama Hart's War, a role he had hoped would revive his career, was significantly reduced in the film's final cut. One friend admitted to People magazine that Brandis had begun drinking heavily and had said that he intended to kill himself.
Paul Petersen, a former child actor and 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."