Missing actor Andrew Koenig killed himself: father

Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:32pm EST
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Missing U.S. actor Andrew Koenig, who starred in the 198Os television comedy "Growing Pains," killed himself, his distraught father said Thursday after friends located his body in an isolated area of a park.

"Our son took his own life," Walter Koenig, who portrayed Lieutenant Pavel Chekov in the original "Star Trek" TV series, told reporters at a late afternoon news conference.

Andrew Koenig, 41, was last seen on February 14 when he left the Vancouver apartment of a friend he had been visiting, and he was reported missing four days later after his father, in Los Angeles, received a despondent letter from his son.

Koenig's disappearance caused friends including actress Alyssa Milano, actor Kirk Cameron and comedian Sarah Silverman to post comments online or put out statements seeking information on his whereabouts.

On his father's website, Koenig's parents posted a long description of their son, including the fact that he had been suffering from clinical depression when he disappeared.

Walter Koenig Thursday pleaded with people who may be similarly depressed not to ignore the illness and to seek help.

After a week of searching, Walter Koenig said he and Andrew's friends tried a last sweep of Stanley Park -- a large expanse of grass, trees and tourist attractions near the city's downtown -- Thursday morning. Near noon, a friend found his son's body.

Andrew Koenig portrayed Richard "Boner" Stabone on "Growing Pains," but since then he'd had mostly small roles on TV and in the movies. He performed standup comedy at Los Angeles clubs such as The Improv, and had edited and produced films.

Koenig also was active in social causes and was arrested in 2008 for protesting U.S. involvement in the Beijing Olympics.

(Reporting by Alan Dowd in Vancouver and Bob Tourtellotte in Los Angeles; editing by Todd Eastham)