Star Trek family loses a member

Andrew Koenig, son of Judy and Walter Koenig, was found dead today in Vancouver. The second-generation actor had been missing since February 14. His disappearance had sparked national media attention and much public concern for his well-being.

Koenig, 41, was perhaps best known for playing Richard Milhous “Boner” Stabone on the 1980s TV hit Growing Pains. At one time, he made frequent guest appearances on other television shows, including the 1993 episode “Sanctuary” of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

“Our son took his own life,” said Walter Koenig in a press conference this evening, noting that Andrew had been battling depression. “He was obviously in a lot of pain,” he said.

The 73-year-old actor, who portrayed Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek, made a plea to others dealing with struggles similar to those of his son.

“If you’re one of those people who feel they can’t handle it any more, if you can learn anything from this, it’s that there are people out there who really care,” he said.

“And before you take that final decision, check it out again, talk to somebody. And for those families who have members who they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior, don’t ignore it, don’t rationalize it. Extend a hand,” said Koenig.

Joshua Andrew Koenig was born on August 17, 1968, in Los Angeles. At the time, his father was working on the third and final season of Star Trek. Andrew Koenig’s first acting job was a small guest role on a 1973 episode of Adam-12. From 1985 to 1989, he appeared on 25 episodes of Growing Pains, while also guest starring on several other series. In 1990, he provided vocal work for the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon series.

More recently, he appeared as the Joker in the 2003 fan film Batman: Dead End and with his father in the 2008 independent horror film InAlienable – which the elder Koenig also wrote and executive produced. Besides acting, Andrew Koenig also worked as writer, producer, and editor on various short films.

During the Rose Bowl Parade in 2008, Koenig protested against a float that promoted the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and was arrested. His protest was against China’s support of a military dictatorship in Burma. “I’m fine with it going to trial,” Koenig said at the time, “because it just brings more attention to the cause, which is freedom for people in Burma.”

Koenig is survived by his parents and a sister, Danielle.

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Andrew Koenig: 1968-2010 (Walter Koenig Site)
Body of missing actor Andrew Koenig found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (Vancouver Sun)
Body found in Stanley Park is Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig (The Province)
Missing actor Andrew Koenig killed himself (Reuters)
Father: ‘Growing Pains’ actor Andrew Koenig ‘took his own life’ (USA Today)
Confirmed: Andrew Koenig’s Body Found (People)
Andrew Koenig 1968-2010 (Trek Today)
Andrew Koenig (actor) (Wikipedia)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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When I first heard that Andrew Koenig was missing and some of the other details surrounding the case, it was one of those stories where you think you know the ending, but hope you are wrong.

My little sister was a huge fan of Kirk Cameron back in the 1980s, so I got to watch a lot of Growing Pains back then (much like she got to watch a lot of Star Trek).

Andrew Koenig brought a unique comic charm to his character. I remember rooting for him to have more screen time, especially once I learned he was Walter Koenig’s son. I found myself rooting for him again this week, hoping that he would turn up safe.

My thoughts and prayers are with Koenig’s family, friends, and fans.