Brandon Call is a former child star best known for his role as "J.T. Lambert" on the 1990s family sitcom, Step By Step. Call was born on November 17, 1976 and achieved a lot of success throughout his teen years.
Call’s career began in the mid-1980s with small guest roles on various TV shows and movies such as Simon & Simon, Slickers, and Jagged Edge. He parlayed these early appearances into a recurring role in the mid-1980s on the afternoon soap opera, Santa Barbara.
As his star was rising, Call began receiving better acting opportunities. He auditioned for and was original cast as the star character, "Kevin Arnold," in The Wonder Years, only to be replaced at the last minute by Fred Savage. He also starred alongside David Hasselhoff as the original "Hobie Buchanan" in the first season of Baywatch (the Hobie character was played in subsequent seasons by fellow washed-up up actor Jeremy Jackson). Call apparently left Baywatch because the show was not very popular during its first season, and only became a phenomenon after the focus turned toward the beautiful lifeguards on the show, as opposed to well-written storylines.
Call's most substantial role was as J.T. Lambert on Step-By-Step. Step-By-Step was on the air for a long time, from 1991-1998, although I only watched it maybe 3 or 4 times. On the show, Call's character was the oldest child in the Lambert family. The Lambert family, ironically enough, resided in Port Washington, Wisconsin, where the king of washed-up celebrities, Dustin Diamond, currently resides.
The Lambert family was a middle-class family and the entire premise of the show was ripped off from the Brady Bunch. Frank Lambert, the character J.T.'s father, was divorced and had custody of three children, including the character J.T. Frank Lambert impulsively married Carol Foster, a widowed woman with three kids of her own. The families merged and the episodes followed the family members as they matured and got to know each other.
Step-By-Step was a fairly successful show on ABC and made Call somewhat of a star. Based on his fame on the show, Call picked up an endorsement deal for the early 1990s beverage, Boku.
In 1996 Call was involved in a very strange mugging. While leaving a taping session on the Step By Step set, Call was attacked by an unknown gunman in an apparently random attack after a traffic dispute. The gunman shot Call in both arms. Luckily, Call was not seriously injured and made a full recovery.
After Step By Step was cancelled in 1998, Call's career ended. Perhaps it was due to anxiety from being shot or that he was sick of the spotlight. Regardless of the reason, there is no doubt that Brandon Call is one washed-up celebrity!
*** Update - May 12, 2013 ***
Someone sent me the following photo on Brandon Call. This photo was apparently taken in 2007:
*** Update - March 4, 2014 ***
When I originally drafted this post back in 2007, I was unable to find much information on the the incident in which Brandon Call was shot. However, I recently performed an Internet search and found additional details relating to the shooting. According to the Associated Press, Call was driving when Tommy Eugene Lewis started tailgating him in another car. Call turned onto a side street that turned out to be a dead end to elude Lewis who cornered Call and fired six bullets into Call's car. Lewis was convicted of attempted premeditated murder and sentenced to 41 years to life in prison.
The text of a published opinion relating to Lewis's unsuccessful appeal of the verdict may be found here.