Benji Gregory, 'Alf' child star of the '80s, dies at 46

Updated
Benji Gregory (top left) is seen with "Alf" co-stars Max Wright, Andrea Elson and Anne Sheeden and the furry brown alien Alf in May 1986 still.

Benji Gregory, a child star who played Brian Tanner in the 1980s sitcom "Alf," has died. He was 46.

According to online records from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's office in Arizona reviewed by USA TODAY Wednesday, Gregory – whose full name was Benjamin Gregory Hertzberg – died June 13. A cause of death is pending.

His sister, Rebecca Hertzberg-Pfaffinger, told TMZ – which first broke the news – and the New York Times that she believes Gregory and his service dog, Hans, were found deceased in his car. He was parked in a bank parking lot in Peoria, a city northwest of Phoenix.

She believes he'd fallen asleep and died of heatstroke, per a Facebook post she shared Wednesday.

"Ben was a great Son, Brother and Uncle. He was fun to be around and made us laugh quite often," Hertzberg-Pfaffinger wrote. "Still, going through his things, I find myself laughing at little videos or notes of his, in between crying."

Gregory portrayed Brian on all four seasons of the classic sitcom. Before this breakthrough role, he appeared on episodes of shows such as "The A-Team," "Punky Brewster" and "The Twilight Zone."

The NBC show, which aired from 1986 to 1990, starred Max Wright, Anne Schedeen, Andrea Elson and Fusco as the voice of Alf.

Remembering the beloved sitcom 'Alf'

Last year, Ryan Reynolds helped bring the extraterrestrial back to life in a series of sponsored content shorts on his newly launched Maximum Effort Channel, which had acquired the rights to the show and streams on platforms including Tubi, Fubo and Amazon Freevee.

"Besides my irrational love of Alf growing up, one of the reasons we licensed this show was precisely because ('Alf' co-creator) Paul (Fusco), Shout! Studios and our intrepid brand partners wanted to plot with us to bring Alf back to life," the "Deadpool" star said in a statement.

Michu Meszaros, the actor who wore an Alf costume in full-body shots of the furry brown puppet, died in 2016 at age 76.

Contributing: Edward Segarra

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Benji Gregory death: 'Alf' child star dead at 46

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