(written from a Production point of view)
Christopher Lee Pettiet (12 February 1976 – 12 April 2000; age 24) was a young actor who appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation third season episode "The High Ground", playing a Rutian boy. It was his second television role.
Born in Texas, Pettiet is perhaps best known for playing the young Jesse James on the television series The Young Riders (1989-1991) during its last season. Starring on that series was Star Trek: Insurrection actor Anthony Zerbe and Star Trek: Voyager guest actress Yvonne Suhor.
Pettiet also played the role of Dean throughout the first season of MTV's Undressed. After his stint on The Next Generation, he went on to guest-star on such series as L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake), Doogie Howser, M.D. (starring James B. Sikking and Lawrence Pressman), Baywatch, Picket Fences (with Ray Walston), and Touched by an Angel. He has also performed in a few made-for-television movies, including An Enemy of the People (1990, with John Glover), Fatal Exposure (1991, with Christopher McDonald), and Danger Island (1992, with Richard Beymer, Gary Graham, and Nikki Cox).
He has appeared in a handful of films, including 1991's Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (with Joanna Cassidy, Concetta Tomei), and Point Break (with Lori Petty and Jack Kehler), 1994's Relentless 4: Ashes to Ashes (with Famke Janssen), and 1996's Boys (with Matt Malloy).
Pettiet died in Los Angeles, California at the age of 24. According to his manager, Bob Villard, Pettiet's death was the result of an accidental drug overdose. This makes him the youngest Trek actor to die.