The son of "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-1968) actor Walter Koenig, Andrew Koenig was an actor and occasional director and writer who rose to fame in the late 1980s as a recurring character on the family sitcom "Growing Pains" (ABC, 1985-1992). He shifted his focus to production work in the new millennium, but his accomplishments in both fields were overshadowed by his unexpected disappearance and untimely death in 2010.
Born Joshua Andrew Koenig on Aug. 17, 1968 in Los Angeles, he was the son of actor Walter Koenig, best known as Pavel Chekov on the "Star Trek" series and many of the subsequent theatrical films, and his wife, actress Judy Levitt. The younger Koenig's precociousness was credited as the partial inspiration for science fiction legend Harlan Ellison's short story "Jeffty is Five," which earned a Hugo Award. He made his television debut with an unbilled turn on a 1973 episode of "Adam-12" (NBC, 1968-1975), but didn't dive into the work in earnest until the late 1980s, when he was cast as Richard "Boner" Stabone, hapless best pal to Kirk Cameron's Mike Seaver on the innocuous family sitcom, "Growing Pains."
The role of Boner, though limited, would be the most significant of his acting career; after ending his tenure with the show, he made the rounds as a guest star on network series like "21 Jump Street" (Fox, 1987-1991). Koenig shot his episode of that series in Vancouver, and would return there frequently throughout his life. His last substantial turn as an actor came as a rebellious alien on the "Star Trek" spin-off "Deep Space Nine" (UPN, 1993-99), though there were later roles in the indie sci-fi film, "InAlienable" (2008), which was written by and co-starred his famous father.
Koenig segued successfully into behind-the-scenes work, starting in 2003 as writer and director on several short films, and later as an editor on documentaries. He also served as producer and camera operator for the weekly podcast "Never Not Funny," hosted by his brother-in-law, comedian Jimmy Pardo, and was politically active in human rights issues regarding the involvement of the Chinese government in Burma. His commitment to that particular cause led to his arrest in 2008 for protesting the United States' involvement in the Beijing Olympics.
On Feb. 14, 2010, Koenig disappeared while visiting friends in Vancouver. He did not return to the United States on his expected arrival date, and the local authorities were alerted four days later. His father reported to police and the media that his son had been suffering from depression, and in the days that followed, it was announced that Koenig had sold all his possessions from his Los Angeles apartment prior to leaving for Canada and had left behind notes for his parents. Eyewitness reports and phone and bank records showed that he was still active as of February 14, which led Vancouver authorities to believe that he was alive. No conclusive evidence of his whereabouts was found in the days that followed, though networking sites and numerous celebrity blogs tried to assist in the search, with celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Alyssa Milano and his old "Growing Pains" buddy Cameron trying to assist the search by posting notices of his disappearance. Sadly, on February 25, police discovered Koenig's body in Vancouver's Stanley Park; where he had last been seen alive. He was 41 years old.