In Memoriam: ’Star Trek’ and ’Grace Under Fire’ Star Jon Paul Steuer Dead at 33

Written in Tribute to Jon Paul Steuer by Bridger Cunningham.

Former sitcom star Jon Paul Steuer died on January 1, 2018 at the age of 33.  No cause of death has been determined.  Born March 27, 1984, Steuer's acting career began at age 5 when he lept onto the stage of a child modeling show in San Diego, California.  A talent agent was impressed and immediately represented him.  Steuer's first distinguishable role was as Klingon Alexander Rohzenko in a 1990 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Steuer won the role as his patience, as he was one of the few younger actors able to sit still for three hours to apply the necessary Klingon makeup prosthetics.  The role returned the following year, though Steuer was passed over in favor of prominent child star Brian Bonsall (Family Ties).  Having only grown an inch and a half, as well as his voice not being deep enough, the role was recast to Steuer's dismay.  Steuer turned his attention to film appearances before landing his most notable role as Quentin Kelly on ABC hit Grace Under Fire.

Image result for grace under fire quentinSteuer played eldest child Quentin Kelly, the precocious, moody wisecracker whose frequent sass against his mother, Grace (Brett Butler) became a favored dynamic the series offered.  Steuer remained with the series from 1993-96 when production issues forced the 12-year old to abruptly leave the series.  During Steuer's tenure with the series, Grace Under Fire managed to finish the season in 4th and 5th places respectively from 1993-95.  Although it dropped out of the top 10 for the 1995-96 season, Grace Under Fire still registered an impressive 13th Place.  Following Steuer's exit, the series collapsed to 45th Place for the 1996-97 season, and the series plunged further to 69th Place before ABC unceremoniously cancelled it in 1998.

1996 marked the same year Steuer retired from acting due to the volatile on-set nature of Grace Under Fire.  Series star Brett Butler battled substance abuse which spilled onto the remaining cast members.  Several sources stated an incident that year occurred when Butler hiked up her skirt in front of minor Steuer and flashed a breast at him.  Steuer's parents pulled him from the production, and he subsequently retired from acting following the experience.

Jon Paul Steuer PictureSteuer also embarked on a successful music career in glam punk band The Soda Pop Kids (initially titled the Kill City Thrillers).  Steuer performed under the stage name Jonny P. Jewels.  The band's success prompted them to relocate to Portland in 2005, where Steuer lived out the remainder of his life.  The band dissolved in 2009, and Steuer spent odd years in the restaurant industry, leading to a landmark achievement as he open vegan-themed restaurant "Harvest at the Bindery."  Following Steuer's death this week, the establishment permanently.  Rest in peace, Jon, as you helped deliver us one of television's most-watched shows of the 1990's.


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