Andrew Koenig may have only inhabited a very small corner of ’80s pop culture, as the recurring yet notable Richard “Boner” Stabone on Growing Pains, one of the decade’s most popular television programs. But that doesn’t make his loss any more insignificant, especially given the sad circumstances and ongoing mystery behind how he lost his way.
Koenig never went on to anything as notable as that part in Growing Pains. To many, he was only ever the son of Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek television show and movies, who sadly went public with pleas for help in finding his son.
Unfortunately to many this will get filed under the recent rash of celebrity deaths that spilled over from 2009 into 2010. And understandably, to most, he’s not an actor of great renown. But to those of us who tuned into Growing Pains every week to enjoy the exploits of the Seaver family long before life got so complicated. We laughed, we related, and we all got teary eyed at least once. Sadly, this is one more time for tears. I find it selfishly hard when I see things like this happen because it gives my generation mortality way too early. Koenig was only 41 but had drifted into relative obscurity (though he was working on a popular podcast recently). Growing Pains is a cornerstone in Eightiesology television and during those early years, he contributed a small part to the laughter. Hopefully he will not be forgotten.