ALF child star Benji Gregory dies aged 46

ALF child star Benji Gregory dies aged 46 Benji Gregory has died aged 46 (Picture: Instagram)

Benji Gregory – the actor best known for his role on the hit sitcom ALF which ran from 1986-1990 – has died aged 46.

On June 13, Gregory was found dead in his in a car park in Peoria, Arizona, alongside service dog Hans, who had also died.

His sister Rebecca Pfaffinger confirmed Gregory’s death, and remembered him as ‘fun to be around’.

Writing on Facebook, she said: ‘It is with a heavy heart my family has suffered a loss way too early.

‘Ben was a great Son, Brother and Uncle. He was fun to be around and made us laugh quite often.

‘Still, going through his things, I find myself laughing at little videos or notes of his, in between crying.

‘My brother Ben was found in his car, along with his beloved service dog Hans, deceased on June 13.

‘We believe he went there the evening of the 12th to deposit some residuals. (Found in his car) and never got out of the car to do so. He fell asleep and died from vehicular heatstroke.’

Gregory had lived with depression, bipolar disorder and a sleep disorder that could keep him awake for days, Pfaffinger told TMZ.

Gregory joined ALF when he was eight years old as Brian Tanner. The show followed a middle-class family whose lives are turned on their head when an alien from planet Melmac crash lands in their garage.

The Tanner family allow the creature to stay with them, who they name ALF – short for Alien Life Form, and he causes mischief while marvelling at what he perceives as the stupidity of mankind.

ALF, real name Gordon Shumway, is performed by a puppeteer. Gregory said of the experience on BTM Legends Corner: ‘It became quite natural to interact with ALF.’

After the popular series ended after 99 episodes, Gregory went on to feature in The A-Team, Punky Brewster, Fantastic Max, T.J. Hooker, The Twilight Zone, and Amazing Stories.

Gregory, whose father, uncle and sister were also actors, had film credits in Whoopi Goldberg-starring Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and adventure animation, Once Upon a Forest.

He stopped acting and joined the US Navy in 2003, becoming an aerographer’s mate. He married his wife Sarah in 2006 after being discharged, but it is not known if they are still wed.

‘I didn’t want to do any more shows but I don’t regret any of it,’ he previously told People.

Pfaffinger has suggested donations to The Actors Equity Foundation or the ASPCA in Gregory’s name, as they are causes he would have supported.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released the official cause of death.

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