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Thoughts, information, commentary on Hollywood's former child stars | Joal Ryan, Editor



"No 'Small Wonder': The Legend of Jerry Supiran"

Gentle reader Tim asks:

Do you have any info on the kid from Small Wonder, Jerry Supiran? Wikipedia says he died in 1994.  I've always been curious what actually happened to him.  Thanks.

Ah, Jerry Supiran. The Bigfoot of former child stars. He lurks in the woods, somewhere. Is that him...?! Did I just...?! I did! I did! I saw him! Oh. Nevermind. That was just Bigfoot.

In any case, to confirm, yes, Wikipedia, did say Jerry Supiran died. Or, rather, a Wikipedia contributor said he died of a heart ailment in 1994 at the age of 21. Here's the archived Wikipedia page from July 3, 2007, which broke this "news."

And here's the Wikipedia page from July 11, 2007, eight days later, in which Supiran happily rejoined the living. You'll notice that in addition to restoring Supiran's life, the Wikipedia police deleted unsubstantiated items about him fathering a child as a teenager, and battling addiction. (The note about him fathering a child still turns up on his IMDb.com page, which may not mean anything other than Wikipedia is much faster at correcting its mistakes than IMDb.com.)

As Washed Up Celebrities recounts, Supiran has also been rumored to have toiled at Taco Bell. Except, you know, on his off days when he was rumored to be entertaining millions as Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins.

The substantiated facts of Jerry Supiran's life, as best I can tell, are these: He hasn't acted in TV or film since Small Wonder ended in 1988; he doesn't have a MySpace page; and, um, that's it. Also, if it counts for anything, I had a friend who swore she spotted him working at a Southern California gas station a few years ago. Still, I'd hardly call that a fact.

In 2004, the Nevada Appeal ran an obituary on an Anthony Supiran, age 33, whose survivors included a brother Jerry Supiran of San Luis Obispo, California. Was that the Jerry Supiran? I don't know. My condolensces in any case.

So, to answer the original question: What actually happened to Jerry Supiran? He became a man who didn't want us to know what happened to him. After all, Bigfoot tells no tales. If he did, he would no longer be Bigfoot, the legend. He'd be Bigfoot, the exposed. Sometimes, it's better to stick with your first option.

(Originally published by Joal Ryan on March 17, 2008.)

c. Joal Ryan