Jerry Supiran is a former child star best known for his role as Jamie Lawson on the mid-late 1980s syndicated sitcom, Small Wonder. Anyone who was a pre-teen during the mid-late 1980s probably watched Small Wonder from time to time. I personally did not have cable TV until I got to college, so I was at the mercy of whatever reruns or TV shows were available on the broadcast TV channels.
Small Wonder was one of the strangest TV shows ever created. A surprise hit in syndication, the show centered on the Lawson family. Jamie Lawson's parents on the show were Ted and Joan Lawson, played by Dick Christie and Marla Pennington, respectively. Ted Lawson worked as an engineer/inventor for United Robotronics, working on a robot for assisting handicapped children. He invented the robot called Voice Input Child Identicant ("V.I.C.I.," pronounced "Vicki"), an android the looked like a 10-year-old girl. (Vickie was played by Tiffany Brissette.) The Lawson family pretended that Vicki was the family's adopted daughter.
The show was generally focused on Vicki and her interactions with Jamie and other kids. Supiran's character, Jamie, was kind of annoying and very smarmy and appeared to be somewhat slimy. He seemed like the type of kid who couldn't be trusted. Apparently Supiran's character seemed like this because in real life, Supiran was a bit of a rascal.
The executive producer of Small Wonder, Howard Leeds, said the following about Supiran:
"Jerry Supiran was a mischievous tyke who bugged the crew but was a good little actor."
Supiran acted on Small Wonder from 1985 until its cancellation in 1988. Supiran was actually a fairly successful child and acted in many other roles during the 1980s. He had guest starring roles in several noted sitcoms of the era such as Little House on the Prairie, Mr. Belvedere, Newhart, and Archie Bunker's Place. He also had roles in the motion picture Uncommon Valor and in various TV movies such as Policewoman Centerfold and Love Thy Neighbor.
Despite his success during the 1980s, Supiran has not had even a single acting role since the cancellation of Small Wonder in 1988. I've searched long and hard to find recent info of Supiran to find out what he has been up to. Unfortunately, most of what I found are merely unverified rumors. According to one rumor, Supiran hates the Small Wonder show and refuses to even talk about it and has moved to New England where he does graphic design for a major food retailer. There are other rumors that he has been a roadie for the band Alice in Chains, was actually Billy Corgan from the rock band Smashing Pumpkins, or that he encountered financial difficulties and now works at a Taco Bell somewhere in California (one can only wonder if he's ever run into fellow washed-up celebrity Dustin Diamond at the same Taco Bell).
Regardless of what he's doing right now, there should be no doubt that Jerry Supiran one washed-up celebrity!
*** Update - May 20, 2009 ***
Jerry Supiran seems like a decent guy and recently contacted me and sent me a blurb to let me know what he's been doing. He mentioned that rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated that that he is very much alive. He also mentioned that he quit acting in 1987 because he wanted to go back to school. Jerry has had several different jobs over the years. Three years ago he broke his back when he was thrown from a racehorse at a ranch that he was managing. Jerry was also a chef at an upscale Mediterranea restaurant in California for awhile.
Jerry says that he is in love with a girl named Kelly Boland. He also loves to golf and if anyone really wants to find him, they should look for him on a golf course. He also mentioned that he does not sing in the Smashing Pumpkins, although he wishes that he could sing like the lead singer, Billy Corgan.
Jerry says that someone stole his identity twice and ruined his credit rating. Jerry spends his free time helping charitable causes and playing with his niece and nephew, Brody and Kelsey.
Jerry Supiran has a Twitter account. Jerry also sent me this recent picture of himself:
*** Update - May 31, 2012 ***
Jerry is apparently homeless and living under a bridge in central California. He claims to be broke as a result of various incidences - when he was 18 years old a stripper stole his trust fund and that one of his advisers stole $500,000 from him. Jerry worked at steakhouses for much of the past 15 years until he was laid off in 2010 from a restaurant in Henderson, NV and has been unable to find work since then.
Jerry told the National Inquirer,
I had to move back to central California, where my brother lives with his family, and while he helps me with hot meals and a shower, he doesn't have the room for me to stay there. So I either sleep at the homeless shelter I volunteer at, or under a local bridge.
Here is a photo of Jerry living on the streets that was published by the National Inquirer:
*** Update - August 19, 2013 ***
TMZ tracked down Jerry Supiran a few months ago and broadcast this video: