Actor and musician Jon Paul Steuer, who was best known for playing the first Alexander Rozhenko in Star Trek: The Next Generation, has died aged 33. A cause of death is still unknown but the sad news was confirmed by his band P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. in a statement on Facebook. "It is with heavy hearts and saddened minds that we announce the passing of our dear friend and singer Jonny Jewels, AKA Jon Paul Steuer," they wrote.
"The addition of Jonny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made, and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did. He was only with us for a little more than a year, but we managed to cram a lifetime of great experiences into his tenure as our singer: dozens shows at home in Portland and across several states, an amazing European tour, and our best full-length release yet. We've lost our singer, but far, far more than that we've lost a friend. Rest in peace, Jonny... we love you."
Jon with his band, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.
Jon, who died on New Year's Day, was the first actor to portray Worf's son in the sci-fi favourite. He scored the acting role in 1990 after supposedly being the only child able to sit still for three hours while having his prosthetics and make-up applied. His next big break came in 1993 when he was cast as Quentin Kelly in TV series, Grace Under Fire. He quit acting at the age of 12, saying that the focus on his co-star Brett Butler, who suffered substance abuse, was too much for him.
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He told an interviewer for The A.V. Club in 2015: "I wanted to forge on with acting after quitting the show, and I went out on a few interviews. But even then they'd turn into question-and-answer sessions with casting agents about Grace Under Fire. I was kind of blown away by how unprofessional people inside the industry were. It really soured me. I didn't want that kind of attention."
The star added: "I had never really gotten into acting for the stardom or the fame or the attention. I did it because I liked acting. That show brought a lot of press and attention around me and my personal life. I was right on the cusp of puberty, going through that awkward stage. To be put under a microscope like that is kind of a bizarre addition to your life that obviously not a lot of other people can relate to."
Jon turned to music and formed his own band, Kill City Thrillers, by the age of 19. The actor-turned-musician was the lead singer, performing under the name Jonny P. Jewels. The band moved to Portland, Oregon and changed its name to Soda Pop Kids, but split six years later in 2009. Jon's next foray was in the restaurant business. After several years working as a bartender and server, he partnered with chef Sean Sigmon to open Harvest at the Bindery, a vegan restaurant located in Portland. The popular eatery has shut down following Jon's death.