‘Alf’ Child Star Was 46

Benji Gregory, former child actor and star of the 1980s sitcom “Alf,” has died. He was 46.

His sister, Rebecca Hertzberg-Pfaffinger, told the New York Times that Gregory and his service dog were both found dead in his car on June 13 at a bank’s parking lot in Peoria, Ariz. Hertzberg-Pfaffinger also announced the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday, saying that the family believes Gregory had fallen asleep and “died from vehicular heatstroke.” She told the NYT that the official cause of death is still pending.

Gregory played Brian Tanner, the youngest child in the Tanner family, in “Alf,” which follows an alien living with a suburban family. Though his most recognized and celebrated work, Gregory also made several guest appearances in various TV shows during the 1980s and early 1990s, including “The A-Team,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Fantasy Island” and “The Twilight Zone.”

But his television stints weren’t just limited to physical work. He also lent his voice to various characters in animated series, notably “Fantastic Max,” in which he voiced the character Ben. Gregory also appeared as himself in the PSAs television series “The More You Know,” the children’s game show series “I’m Telling!” and an episode of “Fun House.”

After his early career in acting, Gregory stepped away from Hollywood and pursued other interests, including a stint in the U.S. Navy. He enlisted in 2003 and graduated to become an aerographer’s mate, specializing in meteorology and oceanography. He used his expertise to provide forecasts and warnings for aviation and nautical safety.

Gregory was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during his naval career. In 2005, he received an honorable medical discharge from the Navy and married Sarah Gregory shortly after completing his military service in 2006.

Back in 2000, Gregory was interviewed by People, where he reflected on his work in “Alf,” saying, “The only times it felt like work was when the lights were on, and it was real hot.” He added that he remembered “climbing under the stage and messing around with the staff.”

Though he noted it was a “relief” when “Alf” was canceled, as he no longer wanted to act, he also affirmed he “didn’t regret any of it.”

Gregory was born Benjamin Gregory Hertzberg in Encino, Calif., on May 26, 1978. His father, uncle and sister Hertzberg-Pfaffinger were all actors, and his grandmother was his agent. He studied film at the Academy of Art College.

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