Jon Paul Steuer was an American actor and musician, best known for playing key roles in series such as ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and ‘Grace Under Fire.’ Born and raised in Escondido, California, Jon discovered his passion for acting when he was 3 years old. He began his career as a child model the following year. Full of confidence and raw energy, Jon slowly became popular. He made his TV debut in 1989, playing a guest role in the series ‘Day by Day.’ The following year, he received a huge break when he was signed to play the supporting role of ‘Alexander Rozhenko’ in the science-fiction series titled ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation.’ He also appeared in the TV film titled ‘By Dawn’s Early Light’ and then appeared in films such as ‘Late for Dinner’ and ‘Little Giants.’ In 1993, he starred as one of the main leads in the series titled ‘Grace Under Fire.’ Following this, Jon quit acting and began a new career as a musician in the early 2000s, playing in a band named ‘Kill City Thrillers.’ Jon shot himself on January 1, 2018, and died on the spot.
Childhood & Early Life
Jon Paul Steuer was born on March 27, 1984, in Escondido, California. He expressed his desire to become an actor in front of his mother for the first time when he was 3 years old. His mother was a national-level athlete and had represented USA in skiing.
He was an eccentric and outgoing kid. He loved watching TV and participating in extracurricular activities.
By the time he was 4 years old, he had begun attending children’s modeling shows that were held at a local mall. He dragged his mother along with him to those shows.
Once, one of the child models could not attend the show. Thus, Jon went on the stage and offered to do the part of the absent model.
A Hollywood agent was present there, and he liked the confidence and charm that Jon exuded. He met his mother after the show and offered to represent Jon in Hollywood. He thus began auditioning for film and TV roles.
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In 1989, at age of 5, Jon made his acting debut with the guest role of ‘Scotty Gilbert’ in an episode of the series ‘Day By Day,’ titled ‘Father Knows Best.’ This was also his acting debut.
The following year, Jon made his film debut with the TV film titled ‘By Dawn’s Early Light,’ essaying the supporting role of ‘Timmy Tyler.’ The film received positive reviews. It was considered one of the best TV films produced by ‘HBO’ at that time. The film also received high ratings, marking its commercial success, too.
In 1990, Jon got the first major break of his acting career when he appeared in the key role of ‘Alexander Rozhenko’ in the hugely successful science-fiction series titled ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation.’ He was the first actor to play the role and appeared for the first time in the episode titled ‘Reunion.’ Hundreds of kids from all over the country had auditioned for the role.
He got the role owing to his ability to sit still for 3 hours while his extensive makeup was done. A year later, the producers of the series wanted him to reprise his role, but they were disappointed seeing that he had grown only a little over an inch and did not have a voice deep enough for the part. Hence, the role went to another child actor, Brian Bonsall. Jon later expressed his discontentment over the re-casting.
However, his career moved ahead with more roles on TV. In 1991, he was seen playing the guest role of ‘Young Mike’ in an episode of the series ‘Homefront,’ titled ‘Sinners Reconciled.’ He then appeared in another guest role, as an unnamed kid in an episode of the series ‘The Wonder Years,’ titled ‘Unpacking.’
He also made his feature-film debut in 1991, playing the supporting role of ‘Little Frank’ in the film titled ‘Late for Dinner.’ The film was a huge commercial and critical debacle.
In 1993, he was seen as ‘Travis’ in the TV film titled ‘When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn.’
He had yet another huge career break in 1993, when he was signed to play one of the lead roles in the sitcom titled ‘Grace Under Fire.’ The series featured him as ‘Quentin Kelly.’ It had Brett Butler playing the main lead role of ‘Grace Kelly,’ Jon’s mother in the sitcom.
The sitcom was a huge critical and commercial success. During its first season, it was hailed as one of the best TV shows of the time. The series ran for five seasons, covering 112 episodes. However, Jon appeared only in three seasons.
Incidentally, Brett Butler’s erratic behaviour and sexual misconduct toward Jon led him to quit the show midway. Following the incident, he became tired of persistent questioning when he tried for more roles. He eventually quit acting.
He then looked for a career as a musician, after he moved to Colorado permanently. He played with a glam punk band named ‘Kill City Thrillers.’ The band later changed its name to ‘Soda Pop Kids’ and disbanded in 2009. He then played with more bands and moved to Portland, where he opened a restaurant named ‘Bindery,’ as a partner.
Personal Life & Death
Not much is known about Jon’s personal life, and it is assumed that he was probably single.
Jon shot himself on January 1, 2018, in Portland, Oregon. He died on the spot. Following his death, his restaurant was closed permanently.