The Tragic Death Of ALF Child Actor Benji Gregory

Benji Gregory, the actor who rose to prominence after starring as Brian Tanner on all four seasons of the hit '80s show "ALF," has died. He was 46 years old.

TMZ reports that his sister, Rebecca, confirmed that his body was discovered in the parking lot of a Chase bank in Peoria, Arizona, along with his service dog, Hans, who was also found dead. Gregory's death certificate lists June 13, 2024, as his official date of death, although the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office has yet to confirm the cause. The outlet also noted that his close circle speculates he might have gone to the bank to deposit checks the previous day, only to fall asleep in his car and succumb to vehicular heatstroke, with temperatures in the area rising to 109 degrees at the time.

On his Instagram account, Gregory noted that he had been dealing with depression and bipolar disorder, which his sister confirmed. She also said that he grappled with severe issues concerning his sleep, often keeping him awake for days, making it more likely he fell asleep in his car before his tragic death.

Gregory bowed out of the entertainment industry after 'ALF'

Benji Gregory cherished his time filming 101 episodes of "ALF" in his youth. In a 2000 interview with People, the late actor revealed that starring in the iconic TV series never felt like a chore. "The only times it felt like work was when the lights were on and it was real hot," he said, noting that in between takes, he would have fun "climbing under the stage and messing around with the staff." Despite the cushy paychecks, he realized early on that he didn't love being in front of the camera. "I was on a lot of stupid cartoons," he shared of his gigs after "ALF" ended. "Voice-overs are easy, and I wasn't actively trying to act anymore." However, he didn't completely shut the door on Hollywood. "I'd like to work in the entertainment industry, but I'm not sure as what," he said. "Definitely not acting."

Gregory ended up enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 2003 and worked as an aerographer's mate. Though he never returned to Hollywood, fans remember him through Brian Tanner and paid tribute. "Rest in Peace to both Benji Gregory and Hans as they travel across the rainbow bridge together. The next time I watch ALF, the laughs will be mixed with tears," one wrote on X, formerly Twitter. One of his friends from childhood also shared, "This hurts. Benji Gregory was a sweet, down to earth child actor and when us teens were partying, he was a straight edged skater. I'll never forget he wrote in my yearbook 'Hope you become Miss America someday.'" Per his sister, fans who wish to honor him can make donations in his name to the Actors' Equity Foundation.