John Paul Steuer, who was known for his work as a child actor in Star Trek: The Next Generation, has died. The 33-year-old passed away on New Year’s Day. The cause of his death has not been confirmed, according to sources that spoke to Deadline.
In the Star Trek series, Steuer played Alexander Rozhenko, the Klingon son of Worf. His first appearance in the hit show was on the episode, Reunion.
He would later follow it up with an even larger role in ABC sitcom, Grace Under Fire, appearing in 73 episodes. In the show, Steuer played Quentin Kelly, the eldest son of the lead character, Grace Kelly. However, he left the show after three seasons.
Two seasons later, the show was scrapped after being plagued by the star, Brett Butler’s substance abuse problems.
In 2003, Steuer left acting and resurrected himself as a popular punk musician in Denver with the band, Soda Pop Kids. He was a permanent fixture in the Portland music and restaurant circuit, deejaying at different places and owning his own vegan restaurant.
Despite leaving acting at a young age and forging an alternative career as a restaurant owner and musician, tributes have been tumbling in from loyal Star Trek fans who remember him from the 90’s show.
His passing was announced on the Facebook page of his current Portland rock band, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. Steuer, who sang under the alias of Johnny Jewels, had joined the band a little over a year ago, but he still managed to leave an indelible impression on his bandmates.
“The addition of Johnny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did. He was only with us for a little more than a year, but we managed to cram a lifetime of great experiences into his tenure as our singer.”
John Paul Steuer is not the first Star Trek actor to have died. Leonard Nimoy, the iconic “Spock” character died in 2015, aged 83. He played the legendary half-human and half-Vulcan friend of Captain Kirk for over 60 years, appearing for the last time as Spock in Star Trek: Into Darkness in 2013.
Grace Lee Whitney, who appeared in eight episodes of the original Star Trek as Captain Kirk’s love interest, died in May 2015, aged 85. She appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Anton Yelchin, another Star Trek actor, died in a freak accident after he was pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a pillar outside his Los Angeles home in 2016. He played Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek movies. The 2016 film, Star Trek Beyond, was dedicated to him.