Jon Paul Steuer

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Jon Paul Steuer
Born (1984-03-27)March 27, 1984
Escondido, California, U.S.
Died January 1, 2018(2018-01-01) (aged 33)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide by gunshot[1]
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–1996 (acting)

Jon Paul Steuer (March 27, 1984 – January 1, 2018) was an American actor and musician, best known for being the first actor to play Alexander Rozhenko in Star Trek: The Next Generation and for being the first actor to regularly portray Quentin Kelly on the ABC show Grace Under Fire. He was also well known for playing Johnny "Viper" Vennaro in the 1994 children's comedy film Little Giants. After spending several years as a musician, Steuer entered the culinary industry and owned his own restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

Life and career[edit]

Acting[edit]

Steuer was three years old and living in San Diego, California, when he began asking his mother, a former member of the United States Ski Team, about becoming an actor. Within a year, he was attending children's modeling shows at local shopping malls. His break came when another child did not appear for one of these shows; Steuer leapt onto the stage and offered his services. A talent agent, impressed with the boy's hubris and performance, approached him and his mother afterward and offered to represent Steuer and obtain acting roles for him.[2]

Within a year, Steuer had received a minor guest-starring role on the television series Day by Day. In 1990, Steuer was cast as Alexander Rozhenko in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Reunion". Although a number of young children auditioned for the role, Steuer was the only child able to sit still for the three hours it took for the make-up department to cast his Klingon facial prosthetics. The ability to be still for a long period of time won him the part. The producers of the series sought him out a year later to reprise the role. However, Steuer had only grown half an inch in height and, at six years old, did not have a deep enough voice. So the producers cast actor Brian Bonsall, who was more than two years older, as Alexander. Steuer later said he was very upset at being recast.[2]

Steuer performed several more times over the next three years, including the 1991 comedy Late for Dinner, a guest shot in the episode "Unpacking" of the TV series The Wonder Years, and a role in the made-for-television movie When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn (1993). In the fall of 1993, Steuer won the role of Quentin Kelly in the television series Grace Under Fire.[a] But the extensive press attention given to lead actress Brett Butler, due to her erratic behavior and substance abuse, and Butler's sexual misconduct (she lifted her skirt and flashed her breasts in front of Steuer), lead him to quit the show.[4] Although he auditioned for TV and movie roles after leaving Grace Under Fire, producers and press kept asking him about Butler and what it was like to work with her. Unwilling to continue to submit to such intense scrutiny, Steuer quit acting. He told an interviewer for The A.V. Club in 2015: "I wanted to forge on with acting after quitting the show, and I went out on a few interviews. But even then they'd turn into question-and-answer sessions with casting agents about Grace Under Fire. I was kind of blown away by how unprofessional people inside the industry were. It really soured me. I didn't want that kind of attention."[2]

During his time on Grace Under Fire, Steuer was cast in the 1994 comedy film Little Giants. He co-starred alongside 13-year-old Sam Horrigan. Horrigan replaced Steuer in the role of Quentin Kelly after Steuer left Grace Under Fire.[5]

Career after acting[edit]

Steuer eventually moved to Denver, Colorado. In 2003,[6] he and several other local musicians formed the glam punk band Kill City Thrillers. Steuer performed as lead singer for the band under the name Jonny P. Jewels. Within a few months, the band changed its name to Soda Pop Kids, and about 2005[7] the band and most of its members moved to Portland, Oregon. The band dissolved in November 2009.[8]

In March 2015, after several years working as a bartender and server, Steuer partnered with chef Sean Sigmon to open Harvest at the Bindery, a vegan restaurant located in Portland.[9]

Death[edit]

Steuer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on January 1, 2018, aged 33, in Portland, Oregon.[10] Upon Steuer's death, the restaurant closed permanently.[11]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Late for Dinner Little Frank
1993 When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn Travis Television film
1994 Little Giants Johnny Vennaro

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Day by Day Scotty Gilbert Episode: "Father Knows Best"
1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation Alexander Rozhenko Episode: "Reunion"
1991 Homefront Young Mike Episode: "Sinners Reconciled"
1993 The Wonder Years Kid Episode: "Unpacking"
1993–1996 Grace Under Fire Quentin Kelly starring role, 3 seasons

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ He replaced actor Noah Segan, who played Quentin in the pilot.[3]

Citations

  1. ^ ‘Star Trek’ & ‘Little Giants’ Star Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound
  2. ^ a b c Heller, Jason (April 1, 2015). "What's it like to be a child actor on Star Trek?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ Gray, Tim (September 29, 1993). "Review: 'Grace Under Fire'". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sad fall for Grace Under Fire". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-06-12. 
  5. ^ Hayes, Britt (November 15, 2013). "See the Cast of 'Little Giants' Then and Now". Screen Crush. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Up & Coming". Portland Mercury. July 16, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ "The Soda Pop Kids". Veglam. January 9, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ Frame, Mike (May 4, 2007). "Interview With The Soda Pop Kids". Razorcake. Retrieved January 10, 2016 ; Gaudette, Philip (July 14, 2007). "The Soda Pop Kids Are Breaking Up (Sort Of...)". Portland Mercury. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ Skinner, Marjorie (June 9, 2015). "First Taste at Harvest at the Bindery". Portland Mercury. Retrieved January 10, 2016 ; Woodstock, Molly (March 20, 2015). "Harvest at the Bindery Plates Up Root-to-Tip Vegan Fare". Portland Monthly. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ Singer, Matthew (January 2, 2018). "Portland Musician and Restaurateur Jonny P. Jewels Has Died". Willamette Week ; Fernandez, Matt (January 5, 2018). "'Star Trek' Actor Jon Paul Steuer Dies at 33". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2018 ; Fernandez, Alexia (June 11, 2018). "Star Trek's Jon Paul Steuer Cause of Death Ruled Suicide: Report". People. Retrieved July 2, 2018. 
  11. ^ Forster, Tim (Jan 3, 2018). "Harvest at the Bindery Closed Permanently After Owner Dies". Portland, Oregon: Eater. 
    Schnurr, Samantha (12 June 2018). "'90s Child Star Jon Paul Steuer Died of Suicide: Report". E! News. Retrieved 15 August 2018. 

External links[edit]