That, folks, is cute little Brian Bonsall, the child actor who played Andy Keaton, the youngest son on Family Ties before taking on the role of Alexander, Worf’s quarter-human nerd son, on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Bonsall, now 28, was arrested and charged with assault in Colorado after nailing a buddy with a broken barstool. The two of them were going at it pretty fierce in a Boulder apartment, police say, and Bonsall decided to get Nausicaan on his friend.
This is not a surprise, really; child actors are notorious for running into trouble with the law in their later years. Bonsall, in fact, has been arrested before. What makes this one different is Bonsall’s current look.
He has, apparently, gone Full Klingon. Spikes in his lips, tattoos on his neck … wait, that’s a butterfly. Okay, so he’s not quite Full Klingon. No Klingon would add butterflies to his look. It is without honour.
On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alexander’s wimpiness was a constant source of prune-juicing anxiety for his father, Worf. Worf was a Klingon, but was raised by humans and wound up in Starfleet with a ponytail, so he struggled with identity issues. When Alexander turned up — Worf knocked up his half-human half-Klingon girlfriend and was surprised a few months later when a six-year-old kid arrived — Dad had to try to teach the kid how to be a fierce, scary Klingon warrior. He even dressed them up like cowboys once and took him to the Old West, and wore chaps.
Worf’s problem, of course, is that he wasn’t much of a warrior himself, despite what Captain Picard would later tell him in the movie First Contact. This lack of parental weapons training led to Alexander rejecting the Klingon lifestyle and becoming a poet and moving to that planet where everyone wore diapers made of bedsheets and Wesley went on trial for stepping on a flower. I might be remembering that wrong.
Alexander never did become Full Klingon. But it’s clear that the lessons Worf tried to instill in Alexander rubbed off on the young actor under the latex forehead. Brian Bonsall grew up, left acting, and has embraced the Klingon warrior lifestyle. You can’t call yourself a Klingon if you’ve never bounced a barstool off your buddy’s skull, right?
I’m still not sure about the butterfly tattoo. I guess there’s still a little Alexander in him after all.
- Note: Strangely, the mainstream media is identifying Bonsall as a former Family Ties actor, with little mention of Star Trek. Anyway, thanks to my good buddy El Diablito for the heads up on this one.