Former TV actor Jerry Supiran—the non-robot child on syndication mainstay Small Wonder—is currently living under a bridge in central California, the result of years of incipient financial ruin and vulnerably human decisions involving strippers. Supiran enjoyed a somewhat-prolific career in the 1980s, landing roles on shows like Little House On The Prairie, Mr. Belvedere, Fame, and St. Elsewhere before taking on the part of Jamie Lawson, the mischievous, cherubic-faced son of an inventor who creates a robot girl known as V.I.C.I. (or "Voice Input Child Identicant"). Though garishly low-budget, painfully unfunny, and critically derided long after its merciful death, Small Wonder has remained an object of (mostly ironic) cult fascination for decades—a following that both the girl who played V.I.C.I., Tiffany Brissette, and Supiran distanced themselves from by quitting acting soon after.
But while Brissette managed to forge a new life for herself as a nurse, Supiran reportedly spent the last 15 years struggling while working at "different steakhouses," eventually becoming homeless after he was laid off from his most recent job waiting tables. And in addition to "the economy," Supiran also blames the management and particularly the ladies in his life for leading him to this current state: "When I was 18, I dated a stripper and she took what was left of my trust fund—then one of my advisers stole a half-million dollars from me," Supiran is quoted as saying. Like the show that made him semi-famous, Supiran's sad story of growing old and falling prey to stripper temptations offers yet more testament to the tragic weakness of the flesh and the drawbacks of not being a robot. [via New York Post]