close
close

Benji Gregory, former “ALF” child star, dies at 46

Benji Gregory, former “ALF” child star, dies at 46

NBC Television Partners Party

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Benji Gregory, the former child actor who played Brian Tanner in the 1980s NBC sitcom ALFhas died at the age of 46. His sister Rebecca Hertzberg-Pfaffinger told the New York Just that Gregory and his service dog, Hans, were found dead in his car in the parking lot of a bank in Peoria, Arizona, on June 13. Pfaffinger told TMZ that her brother suffered from depression, bipolar disorder and a sleep disorder that could keep him awake for days. According to ABC7 Los Angeles, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office said Gregory’s cause of death has not yet been determined. But Pfaffinger suggested in a Facebook post that Gregory went to the bank to cash remaining checks on the evening of June 12, fell asleep in his car and eventually died of “automotive heat stroke.” (Several parts of Arizona have experienced record-breaking high temperatures this summer.)

Gregory was born into a family of actors in 1978 and began his career at ALF when he was 8 years old. Over the course of 101 episodes in his role as Brian, he protected the cat Lucky from ALF’s feline desires and sang as Asparagus in a school play. In the 80s and 90s, Gregory took on roles in several other shows and films, including The A-Team, Punky Brewster, Twilight Zone, Jumpin Jack FlashAnd The fantastic MaxHowever, he eventually left the entertainment industry, joined the US Navy in 2003 and became an aerographer’s mate. Per diversityGregory reflected in an interview in 2000 with People that it was a “relief” when ALF was canceled because he didn’t want to continue acting, but he “regretted nothing” about the experience. “It only felt like work when the lights were on and it was really hot,” he said.