Sunday, February 28, 2010

Star Trek's Chekov actor pays tribute to son found dead in park

STAR TREK actor Walter Koenig has paid tribute to his son Andrew, who has been found dead in a Vancouver park.

Andrew, who lived in California, was visiting friends in Canada when he went missing on Valentine's Day and missed a flight home two days later.

His father Walter, 73, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek TV series, said on his website that Andrew had "a long battle with depression."

He described him as "a funny, caring, gifted, passionate and multi-talented young man."

Mr Koenig wrote: "Andrew's disappearance caused a worldwide campaign of support and search efforts by those who were lucky to be his friends and by those whose lives he touched.

"A beautiful human being, Andrew died in his favourite city, filled with friends, in a park he loved. The family is truly touched by the outpouring of support and love."

Walter had earlier said in a press statement: "My son took his own life. He was obviously in a lot of pain."

Andrew, 41, had a regular role in 80s sitcom Growing Pains and also appeared in a 1993 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Superhero fans will recall that he played the Joker in the acclaimed 2003 movie Batman: Dead End, an eight-minute fan film written and directed by Sandy Collora which you can see at the filmmaker's official website.

Andrew was found hanged in a densely-wooded area of Vancouver's 1,000-acre Stanley Park. Friends and family made the grim discovery on Thursday.

An earlier police search of the park on Tuesday had failed to spot the body which officers said was hidden deep in the forest and could not be seen from the pathway.