I don't know if Jonathan Brandis is a big enough star to warrant vast amounts of suicide commentary (From TV Guide: "CAUSE OF DEATH: The death of 27-year-old actor Jonathan Brandis has been officially ruled a suicide. According to a coroner's report, the SeaQuest DSV star hung himself with a nylon rope in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment complex on Nov. 11. He was found unconscious that night and rushed to a hospital, where he died the next day. Most recently, Brandis had a starring role in the ABC drama pilot 111 Gramercy Park."). But, already being fascinated by any suicide, I am particularly intrigued by his because, as far as I can tell from past press, Jonathan didn't seem to be a "cry for helper." Or, at least, not in any Hollywood, public way. He was, aside from being an "actor," invisible-- no drug overdoses, no bashing in of cop cars, no searching-for-my-real-identity risky indie movie roles. While I have always contended that to be able to complete suicide takes a very particular, determined, and rare person, and that this sincere quality of suicide-preparedness is seldomly visible (or at least, usually, not in obvious ways), I think that the self-inflicted death of a blond, blue-eyed actor, who is still getting work, is going to raise so many testimonials of "this wasn't who he really was" and "this must be the result of a recent depression" that Jonathan will be one of the quickest "stars" to get written over as a troubled, beautiful cherub. People interviewed about him in "People" will insist that had he just gotten to the "doctor," he would have been "fine." I get the feeling that Jonathan will be a tough one for the public to equate with the inner impulses that go into desiring to hang oneself in the hallway with nylon rope. Even I have a little bit of a fantastical image of him, since he starred in the sequel to The Neverending Story-- and while it was no Neverending Story 1, I do remember the Tiger Beat Spreads and the general joy that the entertainment world expressed at his debut, at having found a new, dreamy, ocean-eyed fox.
On the way up to Los Altos for Thanksgiving, Brett and I listened to David Sedaris's CD reading of "Naked" (I am on my Mac 5.0 laptop and it refuses to let me italicize, by the way), and David tells the story of his Ya-Ya, a black-clad, smelly Greek woman who used to keep a fish in an incredibly dirty jar on the windowsill. And when, one day, Ya-Ya came home and the fish was no longer in the murky, disgusting jar, she concluded that it had jumped to its death in the alley below. At this point, Amy Sedaris (I think) pipes in as the accented voice of Ya-Ya, and asks something like, "Why did fish have the suicide? It so pretty."
And this, in general, is how everyone seems to respond to the suicide of people who are not spectacularly ugly or pathetic (which are, weirdly enough, most, since to be spectacularly ugly or pathetic is harder than you think), so in the case of Jonathan Brandis, I can only imagine what "fans" are going to do to totally muddy his intentions and life.