Former 'ALF' child star and his dog found dead in car

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By James Kay

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Benji Gregory, the actor renowned for his role on the 1980s sitcom ALF, has died at the age of 46.

Gregory was discovered deceased in his car in Peoria, Arizona, on June 13, according to his sister Rebecca Hertzberg-Pfaffinger, who spoke with TMZ.

TMZ reports that Gregory was found with his service dog, Hans, inside his vehicle, which was parked at a Chase Bank on June 13. His dog was also found dead.

Those close to the actor believe he had visited the bank to deposit checks the previous day and fell asleep in his car.

GettyImages-1158514870.jpgGregory (top left) with his ALF co-stars in 1986. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

It is suspected that Gregory died from vehicular heatstroke, as temperatures in the area reached as high as 109 degrees on June 12.

The cause of death remains undetermined as the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office conducts an investigation.

Rebecca mentioned to TMZ that she suspects her brother may have succumbed to heatstroke after falling asleep.

She also revealed that Gregory had been struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, and a severe sleeping disorder.


ALF, which first aired in 1986, brought Gregory into the limelight when he was just eight years old.

After the show concluded in 1990, Gregory appeared in several other TV programs, including Fantastic Max, Pound Puppies, and The Twilight Zone.

In 2003, Gregory made a significant career change by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He specialized as an aerographer's mate, focusing on meteorology and oceanography, before being discharged in 2005 for medical reasons.

Though he left the entertainment industry two decades ago, Gregory stayed connected with his followers through Instagram, where he frequently posted photos.

His bio described him as a “lover of dogs, traveling, late-night runs, music, podcasts.”

His last post, dated April 11, featured a comment about his dog, Hans: “Wish my dog, Hans, would grow out of this ‘tagging’ phase already.”

Gregory rose to fame as Brian Tanner on ALF, appearing in 101 episodes from 1986 to 1990.

GettyImages-461885150.jpgGregory rose to fame as a childhood star. Credit: Ron Galella/Getty

The show followed the title character, an Alien Life Form named Gordon Shumway, who crashes into the garage of the Tanner family's suburban home.

The iconic character was brought to life by puppeteer Paul Fusco, who co-created the series with Tom Patchett.

In 2018, Warner Bros. announced early-stage plans for an ALF reboot, but the project was canceled later that year due to the inability to find a network for it, per PEOPLE.

Our thoughts are with Gregory's loved ones at this difficult time.

Featured image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Former 'ALF' child star and his dog found dead in car

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Benji Gregory, the actor renowned for his role on the 1980s sitcom ALF, has died at the age of 46.

Gregory was discovered deceased in his car in Peoria, Arizona, on June 13, according to his sister Rebecca Hertzberg-Pfaffinger, who spoke with TMZ.

TMZ reports that Gregory was found with his service dog, Hans, inside his vehicle, which was parked at a Chase Bank on June 13. His dog was also found dead.

Those close to the actor believe he had visited the bank to deposit checks the previous day and fell asleep in his car.

GettyImages-1158514870.jpgGregory (top left) with his ALF co-stars in 1986. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

It is suspected that Gregory died from vehicular heatstroke, as temperatures in the area reached as high as 109 degrees on June 12.

The cause of death remains undetermined as the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office conducts an investigation.

Rebecca mentioned to TMZ that she suspects her brother may have succumbed to heatstroke after falling asleep.

She also revealed that Gregory had been struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, and a severe sleeping disorder.


ALF, which first aired in 1986, brought Gregory into the limelight when he was just eight years old.

After the show concluded in 1990, Gregory appeared in several other TV programs, including Fantastic Max, Pound Puppies, and The Twilight Zone.

In 2003, Gregory made a significant career change by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He specialized as an aerographer's mate, focusing on meteorology and oceanography, before being discharged in 2005 for medical reasons.

Though he left the entertainment industry two decades ago, Gregory stayed connected with his followers through Instagram, where he frequently posted photos.

His bio described him as a “lover of dogs, traveling, late-night runs, music, podcasts.”

His last post, dated April 11, featured a comment about his dog, Hans: “Wish my dog, Hans, would grow out of this ‘tagging’ phase already.”

Gregory rose to fame as Brian Tanner on ALF, appearing in 101 episodes from 1986 to 1990.

GettyImages-461885150.jpgGregory rose to fame as a childhood star. Credit: Ron Galella/Getty

The show followed the title character, an Alien Life Form named Gordon Shumway, who crashes into the garage of the Tanner family's suburban home.

The iconic character was brought to life by puppeteer Paul Fusco, who co-created the series with Tom Patchett.

In 2018, Warner Bros. announced early-stage plans for an ALF reboot, but the project was canceled later that year due to the inability to find a network for it, per PEOPLE.

Our thoughts are with Gregory's loved ones at this difficult time.

Featured image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty