As a child, Brian Bonsall made his television debut in the sitcom Family Ties, where he played the youngest member of the Keaton family. He later had small film parts and a reoccuring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Bonsall quit acting in 1995. He has since founded a number of punk rock bands as well as had a couple of highly publicized run-ins with the law.
Early Life and Child Star
Actor Brian Eric Bonsall was born in Torrance, California, on December 3, 1981. He started his career at the tender age of 4 when in September 1986, he made his debut as Andrew, the youngest member of the Keaton clan on the popular '80s sitcom Family Ties (1982-89).
According to some accounts, his three-year stint on the show wasn't always easy. In a 1988 TV Guide article, his mother, Kathleen Bonsall, expressed concern over how Brian was treated on the set. "One of my concerns is that people treat him too much like an adult sometimes," said his mother, an aspiring actress who also worked as Brian's manager. "If Brian is doing something fun and has to stop for work, they say he doesn't want to be here. But he loves to perform. If he didn't, I wouldn't have him here. I want a healthy child."
When Family Ties ended in 1989, Bonsall appeared in television movies and the 1992 feature film Mikey, playing a homicidal boy who turns against his adoptive parents. His biggest show after Family Ties, however, was Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-98), on which he played the recurring role of Alexander Rozhenko, the part-Klingon son of Worf.
Other Projects and Legal Issues
Bonsall stepped away from acting in 1995 and enrolled in high school in Colorado. There, he developed an interest in punk music. He later started a number of punk bands, including Late Bloomers and Thruster. In 2007, he made headlines for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. Bonsall ultimately pleaded guilty to third-degree assault charges (other charges were dismissed) and was sentenced to two years’ probation. He had another run-in with the law in 2009 which resulted in assault charges.
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