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Iconic Sitcom Star Passes Away at Age 46

Iconic Sitcom Star Passes Away at Age 46

The former child star Benji Gregory, known for his role on the sitcom ALF, tragically passed away at age 46. Gregory, who played Brian Tanner on the well-known 80s sitcom that aired from 1986-1990, was discovered deceased in his car alongside his service dog, Hans, in a Chase Bank parking lot in Peoria, Arizona, on June 13.

His sister, Rebecca, informed TMZ that Gregory had suffered from depression, bipolar disorder, and a sleep disorder that frequently kept him awake for days. It’s believed that Gregory went to the bank to deposit residual checks on June 12, fell asleep in his car, and tragically succumbed to vehicular heatstroke.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner Office has yet to determine an official cause of death. ALF, the sitcom in which Gregory gained fame, ran for four seasons from September 22, 1986, to March 24, 1990. The show also starred Max Wright, Anne Schedeen, and Andrea Elson. The plot centered around the Tanner family, a suburban middle-class family from the San Fernando Valley in California, who take in an alien named ALF after he crash-lands in their garage. The family attempts to keep ALF hidden from nosy neighbors and government agencies.

Gregory was just eight years old when he became famous on ALF, with the puppet character of ALF being performed by director Paul Fusco. Born in Los Angeles in 1978, Gregory came from a family of actors. His father, uncle, and sister also had careers in acting. His other TV appearances included roles in “Fantastic Max,” “The A-Team,” “T.J. Hooker,” and “The Twilight Zone.”

In addition to his role on ALF, Gregory made several appearances on the television sitcom “Punky Brewster,” playing an orphan named Dash. He also appeared in the feature film “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in 1986.

In 2003, Gregory stepped away from acting and enlisted in the US Navy. He was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson and, unfortunately, had to receive an honorable medical discharge in 2005. He married his wife, Sarah, in 2006, but it remains unclear if they were still together at the time of his passing.

To honor Gregory’s memory, his sister Rebecca has suggested donations be made in his name to either The Actors Equity Foundation or the ASPCA.