’90s Child Star Jon Paul Steuer Dead at Age 33
Jon Paul Steuer, a musician and ’90s child star who once starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the show Grace Under Fire, has died. He was 33.
His death was announced on Thursday on the Facebook pages of his band, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., and Portland vegan restaurant, Harvest At The Bindery. The cause of Steuer’s death was not made public. He is survived by his parents, Paula and Tom.
“It is with heavy hearts and saddened minds that we announce the passing of our dear friend and singer Jonny Jewels, AKA Jon Paul Steuer,” the band’s post read. “The addition of Jonny 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: dozens shows at home in Portland and across several states, an amazing European tour, and our best full-length release yet,” the group continued. “We’ve lost our singer, but far, far more than that we’ve lost a friend. Rest in peace, Jonny…we love you. Jon Paul Steuer March 27, 1984 – January 1, 2018.”
In 1990, Steuer became the first actor to play Worf’s son Alexander Rozhenko on the cult series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He appeared on one episode.
“The show called me back a just a few months later to play Alexander again, but I’d only grown half an inch or something,” he told the A.V. Club in 2015. “The line of questioning was, “How tall are you now? How much do you weigh?” Klingons are this powerful warrior race, so they wanted me to be dramatically larger. They also wanted a deeper voice out of me. But I was still 6. Brian Bonsall was a couple years older than me, so that’s basically why he got the part. But they kept bringing the character back, and they went through a few different actors as he got progressively older. I absolutely would have gone back in a heartbeat, but that was the reality of the situation.”
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Steuer later appeared on an episode of the show The Wonder Years and the movie Little Giantsbefore landing his biggest acting job, the role of Quentin Kelly on the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire. He left the show at age 12 after three years, in 1996, and retired from acting. He has occasionally been spotted at Star Trek conventions.
“They [my former co-stars] all remembered me,” Steuer told the A.V. Club. “They joked about working with me, and how after I left the show they didn’t have as good of an experience with some of the other kids who played Alexander. They really are a good bunch of people. Patrick Stewart is an incredibly kind man, very down-to-earth.”
After leaving the acting world, Steuer performed in rock bands and a few years ago, he launched Harvest At The Bindery in Portland. The eatery announced on Facebook on Thursday it will shut down in wake of Steuer’s death.