Benji Gregory, child star of ‘Alf,’ found dead at 46 alongside service dog


By AGENCY

From 1986 to 1990, he played middle son Brian Tanner in 101 episodes of 'Alf'. Photos: NBC, Benji Gregory/Instagram

Benji Gregory, who as an eight-year-old boy starred on the television series Alf, was found dead in his car from apparent heatstroke along with his dog, his family revealed Wednesday (July 10).

He was 46.

The once child actor was found in a Chase Bank parking lot on June 13 with his service dog, Hans, his sister Rebecca told TMZ.

It appeared that Gregory had gone to the bank in Peoria, Arizona, the United States to deposit cheques, fell asleep in his car in the punishing heat and never woke up.

Arizona reportedly endured its hottest June on record, with temperatures in nearby Phoenix averaging 97°F (36°C), according to the US National Weather Service.

As of last week, there had been 14 confirmed heat-related deaths this year in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and Peoria, while more than 200 others are still under investigation.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office said a ruling on the final cause of Gregory’s death is still pending.

Gregory had a number of health issues, including a sleep disorder that gave him days-long intractable insomnia, his sister told TMZ. He also suffered from bipolar disorder and depression, she said.

Gregory was born on May 26, 1978, and began acting soon after, attending auditions beginning at age five.

His first role was on an episode of Fantasy Island, followed by appearances on The A-Team, T.J. Hooker, The Twilight Zone and Murphy Brown, among many others.

From 1986 to 1990, Gregory played middle son Brian Tanner in 101 episodes of Alf, which featured an otherworldly creature from the planet Melmac whose spaceship had crashed into the Tanners’ garage.

After Alf, Gregory largely left acting, aside from doing voiceovers for various animated projects.

He went on to study film at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and in 2004 he joined the US Navy, becoming an Aerographer’s Mate, the Navy equivalent of a meteorologist, at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., according to his biography on IMDbPro.

He was given an honorable medical discharge in 2005. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service

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