Sep 20, 2012

Jonathan Brandis

Probably the most famous of the Neverending Story boys was Jonathan Brandis, who played Bastian in #2.  Born in 1976, Brandis began acting during the 1980s, with small parts in tv series like Webster and Good Morning, Miss Bliss (the original title of the blockbuster teencom, Saved by the Bell). 

Neverending Story II (1990) did not result in teen magazine adulation, and Brandis continued playing small parts in big movies or big parts in small movies, like the gay-subtext heavy Sidekicks (1992).  

Then he hit it big in the science fiction series Seaquest: DSV (1993-1996) about a submarine crew in the near future traveling through the ocean to help colonists, discover the lost Library of Alexandria, face deep-sea bogies, and take their shirts off.



Brandis played Lucas Wolenczak, a teenage computer genius, to draw in the "teenage girl" demographic, as the heterosexist Wikipedia article puts it -- but gay boys found him dreamy, too.  The program's heterosexism made it difficult to watch, but there was some comfort in the rumors that Brandis was gay in real life.    

After Seaquest, Brandis acted sporadically, but never found the fame he expected.  In 2003 he apparently committed suicide by hanging himself, although some tabloids claimed that it was an accidental death during autoerotic asphyxiation (most people don't get naked to commit suicide).