Brian Bonsall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brian Bonsall
Born Brian Eric Bonsall
(1981-12-03) December 3, 1981 (age 32)
Torrance, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1986–1994

Brian Eric Bonsall (born December 3, 1981) is an American former child actor. He played Andrew "Andy" Keaton, the youngest child on the NBC sitcom Family Ties from 1986 until 1989, and Alexander Rozhenko, the part Klingon, part human son of Worf, on Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1992 to 1994.

Early life and acting career[edit]

Bonsall was born in Torrance, California. At the age of five, he won the role of Andy Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties. Bonsall won three Young Artist Awards for his performance on the series. He was also nominated for a Young Artist Award for his starring role in the made-for-TV movie Do You Know the Muffin Man? in 1990. He made his feature film debut in 1992 in the horror film Mikey, playing the title role, a demonic young boy who terrorizes his adoptive parents. This caused controversy in the UK owing to its depiction of a child killer at a time when the murder of Jamie Bulger had raised sensitivity about violent behavior by children. As of August 2011, the film is one of the few banned in the UK.[citation needed]

In science fiction circles, he is predominantly known for the part of Alexander Rozhenko, son of Star Trek: The Next Generation's Klingon security officer, Mr. Worf—a recurring role he played for 7 episodes across several seasons.[citation needed]

He played Patrick Swayze's son in the 1993 film Father Hood. In 1994, he starred in the Disney comedy Blank Check and co-starred with Bob Saget in the TV movie comedy Father and Scout. His other acting credits include the TV movie Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme and guest appearances on television series such as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and The Young Riders.[citation needed]

Life after acting[edit]

In 1995, Bonsall retired from acting and moved with his mother and stepfather to Boulder, Colorado. He attended Boulder High School, graduating in 2000.[1] He also became a musician, forming the rock band Late Bloomers with his friends in 1998. He has also been in the Boulder-based punk bands Thruster as well as The Light on Adam's Stereo. He was in the Los Angeles-based punk band This Life of Mine, but is also working on solo projects.[citation needed]

In a 2005 interview, he stated that he has no interest in returning to acting.

Legal and substance abuse troubles[edit]

Since he left acting, Bonsall has had a number of run-ins with the law. In 2001, he was convicted of driving under the influence, and in 2004, he was arrested under suspicion of drunk driving.[2] On March 28, 2007, Bonsall was arrested for charges of second degree assault and false imprisonment after an altercation with his girlfriend. In a plea bargain, Bonsall pleaded guilty to third degree assault and the other charges were dropped. He was then sentenced to 24 months' probation on August 31.[3]

In June 2008, Bonsall was accused of violating the conditions of his probation by failing to pay for domestic violence classes, missing daily Breathalyzer tests, failing one Breathalyzer test, and walking out on a urine test.[4][5] He was due to appear in a court hearing scheduled for July 16, 2008, to answer for these alleged probation violations. Bonsall failed to show at the hearing, however, and an arrest warrant was issued, coupled with a $2,500 bail bond. After more than a year on the lam, on December 5, 2009, Bonsall was arrested by the Boulder Police Department on the Failure to Appear warrant after being picked up for assaulting his best friend with a bar stool.[1] In the police report for the assault incident Bonsall stated that he has bipolar disorder.[1] Bonsall also admitted to drinking heavily and being a heavy drug user to the degree that they make him "forget things".[1] On December 11, 2009, Bonsall was charged in Colorado with second-degree assault related to the incident on December 5.[6]

On February 19, 2010, Bonsall was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana in violation of his probation.[7]

On April 9, 2010, Bonsall pleaded guilty to menacing and third degree assault in connection with the bar brawl in Colorado and was sentenced to two years probation.[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1986 to 1989 Family Ties Andrew "Andy" Keaton 78 episodes
1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday Andy Keaton Television special
1988 Go Toward the Light Zack Television movie
1988 Day by Day Andrew "Andy" Keaton Episode: "Trading Places"
1989 Do You Know the Muffin Man? Teddy Dollison Television movie
1989 Booker Billy Episode: "Deals and Wheels: Part 1"
1989 On the Television Googie Chowder Episode: "Stupid People's Court"
1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme Michael Television movie
1990 Angel of Death Josh Television movie
1990 Married People Brian Episode: "To Live and Drive in LA"
1991 The Young Riders Episode: "Old Scores"
1991 Shades of L.A. Andy Makowski 2 episodes:
1991 Parker Lewis Can't Lose Andrew Keaton Episode: "Civil Wars"
1991 False Arrest Jason Lukezic Television movie
1992 to 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Alexander Rozhenko 7 episodes
1992 Mikey Mikey Holt
1993 Distant Cousins Alex Sullivan
1993 Father Hood Eddie Charles
1994 Blank Check Preston Waters
1994 Father and Scout Michael Television movie
1994 Lily in Winter Michael Towler Television movie

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1988 Young Artist Award Best Young Actor Under Ten Years of Age in Television or Motion Pictures Family Ties Won
1989 Young Artist Award Best Young Actor Under Nine Years of Age Family Ties Won
1990 Young Artist Award Best Young Actor Starring in a TV Movie, Pilot or Special Do You Know the Muffin Man? Nominated
1990 Young Artist Award Outstanding Performance by an Actor Under Nine Years of Age Family Ties Won


  1. ^ a b c d Miller, Vanessa (2009-12-07). "Former 'Family Ties' star Brian Bonsall arrested again in Boulder". Colorado Daily. 
  2. ^ Ryan, Joel (June 2, 2004). ""Family Ties" Tyke Busted for DUI". E! Online. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. 
  3. ^ Miller, Vanessa (August 31, 2007). "Former 'Family Ties' star Brian Bonsall gets probation for assault". UPI News Service (Reality TV World). Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bane, Vickie (July 15, 2008). "Former Family Ties Star Violates Probation". People. 
  5. ^ Miller, Vanessa (July 15, 2008). "Former child star Bonsall pleads guilty in assault, probation violation". Daily Camera. Archived from the original on 2008-08-04. 
  6. ^ "Ex-child star Bonsall accused of assault". December 12, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "'Family Ties' actor Bonsall arrested again | Story | Wonderwall". February 19, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (April 9, 2010). "'Family Ties' child star Brian Bonsall sentenced to two-years probation on assault charge". Daily News. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 

External links[edit]