Jonathan Brandis was an up-and-coming young actor with a bunch of small parts in TV and movies to his credit. IT was his big breakout hit. His next big role was several years later in the Steven Spielberg-produced TV series sea Quest DVS, where he starred as Lucas Wolenczak (sort of like the Wesley Crusher of that show). The show was a moderate success, and his role bumped him up to teen-idol status. But he never quite found his next big hit after that. In 2003, Brandis hung himself in the hallway of his apartment building. He didn’t leave a suicide note, though there was speculation that he was depressed over his career.
At this point I have to note that there isa major suicide in the novel/miniseries IT—though of a different character, Stanley Uris. Uris commits suicide out of this immense anxiety over the horror simply known as “It,” slashing his wrists in a bathtub.
But Brandis is not the only tragic figure attached to this miniseries. John Ritter, a beloved comedy actor from so many projects, played the grown-up version of the character Ben Hanscom. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 54, from an aortic dissection. (An aortic dissection is when a part of your heart suddenly tears open; it’s an internal thing and not the result of an outside force, at least in Ritter’s case)
So basically…Ritter died the same year as his IT co-star Jonathan Brandis.
The only other tragedy I could find connected to the movie was related to Tim Curry, who played Pennywise (and starred in so many other cool things). He suffered a major stroke in 2012 that required him to use a wheelchair. Though it is a but harder for him to get around now, he has made a number of appearances and performances since the stroke, especially with voicework.
Then you could extend things a bit and reference author Stephen King’s own catastrophic car accident in 1999. But now…
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