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Joshua Andrew Koenig (17 August 196814 February 2010; age 41) was an actor, comedian, and filmmaker who played Tumak in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine second season episode "Sanctuary". He was the son of actor Walter Koenig, best known for playing Pavel Chekov on Star Trek: The Original Series and in the Star Trek films, and actress Judy Levitt, who has also appeared in several Star Trek films.

Personal life

Joshua Andrew Koenig was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. Writer Harlan Ellison credits meeting Koenig as a child as the partial inspiration for one of his most well-known short stories, the Hugo Award-winning "Jeffty is Five". Ellison explained:

…I had been awed and delighted by Josh Koenig, and I instantly thought of just such a child who was arrested in time at the age of five. Jeffty, in no small measure, is Josh: the sweetness of Josh, the intelligence of Josh, the questioning nature of Josh. [1]

In the late 1980s, Koenig visited Vancouver, British Columbia, to shoot his episode of 21 Jump Street. He returned to Vancouver in the early 1990s and lived there for many years. He later returned to the United States, residing in Venice, California.

Koenig was an ardent activist of Human rights and environmental causes, and had been for much of his life. Most recently he was working on behalf of the people of Burma, publicly opposing their oppression by the Chinese government and China's support of Burma's military junta.

On New Year's Day in 2008, Koenig was arrested at the Rose Parade while protesting America's involvement in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. He was arraigned in Pasadena Superior Court on 4 February for suspicion of interfering with a special event. [2] He was ultimately found guilty and was sentenced to pay a $50 fine. This sentence was suspended, however, after Koenig's attorney argued that the eight hours Koenig spent in jail when he was first arrested was punishment enough. Koenig did not appeal the decision not to simply throw out the case. [3]

Acting career

As an actor, Andrew Koenig was best known for playing Mike Seaver's friend, Richard "Boner" Stabone, on the sitcom series Growing Pains. He appeared in twenty-five episodes of the series between 1985 and 1989. In addition, Koenig made guest appearances on the television shows My Sister Sam (which starred fellow DS9 guest actor Joel Brooks), 21 Jump Street (in an episode directed by Larry Shaw and co-starring Phillip Richard Allen) and My Two Dads (on which Chad Allen was a regular cast member). He also voiced various characters on the hit animated series G.I. Joe. His appearance on Deep Space Nine was his last television work.

More recently, Koenig portrayed DC Comics villain The Joker in the 2003 fan-made short film Batman: Dead End. This movie featured stunt work by Star Trek veterans Dragon Dronet and Scott Leva. He then had a supporting role in an independent film entitled The Theory of Everything, which was written and directed by "Klingon Encounter" producer and director David de Vos.

Koenig had a supporting role in the science fiction film InAlienable, which was written and executive produced by his father, Walter Koenig. The elder Koenig also had a role in the film, as did Andrew's mother, Judy Levitt, and fellow Star Trek alumni Erick Avari, Gary Graham, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Lisa LoCicero, Courtney Peldon, Jeff Rector, Alan Ruck, and Marina Sirtis. Shortly before his death, Koenig completed shooting on an independent film entitled DaZe: Vol. Too (sic) - NonSeNse, whose cast also includes Patrick Kilpatrick.

Other works

Koenig was the writer, director, and editor of the 2003 short film Good Boy, featuring visual effects work by Steven Fagerquist and Derek Ledbetter. He served the same functions on the 2004 short Woman in a Green Dress, and also directed the 2004 short film Instinct vs. Reason. He was subsequently an editor for several short films and documentaries.

Koenig was also known for his work in improvisational comedy. He regularly performed at The Improv in Los Angeles, California, often with the group Charles Whitman Reilly and Friends. From 2007 until his death, Koenig was the camera operator and video producer on the weekly online podcast "Never Not Funny", which is hosted by his brother-in-law, comedian Jimmy Pardo.

Disappearance and death

On 14 February 2010, Koenig went missing while visiting friends in Canada. He was expected to return to the United States on 16 February, but he never boarded the flight. [4] He was last seen in the Stanley Park area in Vancouver, British Columbia [5] and was reported missing to Vancouver Police on 18 February. [6] Among those who publicly sought information on Koenig's whereabouts were fellow Star Trek alumni LeVar Burton, Wil Wheaton, and Sarah Silverman. [7] [8] [9]

Koenig last spoke with his parents on 9 February when he called from Toronto to check up on his mother, Judy Levitt, who had recently undergone surgery. Levitt noted that Andrew "sounded a little distant." [10] On 16 February, Levitt and Walter Koenig received a note from Andrew in which Walter believed his son "sounded despondent." [11] The elder Koenig stated that Andrew had been "suffering from depression" prior to his disappearance. Andrew Koenig had also told a friend that he was "not going to work anymore." [12] Koenig's neighbors stated that Andrew had sold all of his possessions in Los Angeles before departing for Canada. [13] According to a friend, Koenig stated he was moving to Vancouver to "start over". [14]

Phone records show that Andrew's cell phone received a text message from a friend on 16 February; the phone received the text in the Stanley Park area, but it was subsequently turned off. [15] According to the police, Koenig's phone and ATM card were both used after his last sighting on 14 February. [16] The Vancouver police at the time believed Koenig was alive and "just trying to lay low." [17]

On 25 February, Andrew Koenig was found dead on Bridal Path, a densely wooded area in Stanley Park. He was 41 years old. His body was discovered by friends who were conducting their own private search. Walter Koenig, who had arrived in Vancouver with his wife to help search for Andrew, came to the scene and positively identified his son's body. He later announced during a press conference that his son had committed suicide. [18] [19] [20] According to a source reportedly close to the investigation, Koenig's body was found hanging from a tree. [21]

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