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Dear Friends and Fans of Jon-Erik Hexum, 

Some of you are just discovering this gorgeous man, and some of you knew, loved, and have mourned him since his tragic death in 1984, just before his 26th birthday.

He and I met in the spring of 1983, when he came to my door in Toluca Lake, California, for a photo session. He was already known at that time, as the star of his own TV series, "Voyagers!" - his first paying acting job. Our session was to be for my 1984 celebrity BUNS calendar, published by Putnam, a follow-up to my best-selling book, and one of a series of calendars.

Jon-Erik and I became instant friends that day, and more. We did many things over the following 16 months, like meeting up to play his favorite arcade game, Galaga, travel, and throwing home parties, as well as accomplishing many photos sessions. "Entertainment Tonight" did a piece on us, our friendship and our working relationship, and some of the photos on this page are from the day they spent at my home and studio. He was a terrific guy, loved by all, and was easy to make friends with. He loved life, loved living, loved nothing more than having pals over. His positive spirit was infectious, and despite those who have tried to explain his death as just another Hollywood actor with a dark side, I and others will attest to the fact that he simply didn't have one.

Jon-Erik took this photo of me in 1984 with his very cool car. He loved driving it, and would wear his mothers white rimmed rhinestone winged glasses as he never had time to go get his own. I'd howl at how funny he looked, and he'd reply "Hey! I need these! Or we could crash otherwise!" I think maybe he just enjoyed not looking perfect all the time, which he never took credit for anyway, saying "I came out of the womb lookin' like this - I had nothing to do with it." It wasn't an act - he was truly humble.

There were scores of us who would have happily, respectfully, purchased the car from Gretha after Jon-Erik's heart and other vital organs were donated to help others - what we call "the final passing" - but then something unforeseen happened. When she returned to LA from the transplant day in San Francisco, she and her other son Gunnar dispersed of his house, car, and belongings in short order, without calling any of us to reclaim our own possessions (like some of my photographs, and everything belonging to his two room-renters, Linda and Nick.) We don't know who bought the car. I guess I was lucky that since he had so few clothes, he often wore mine for our sessions - the three sweaters and fur you'll see on the Jon-Erik Image Page still belong to me.

So about the accident on the set of his TV show "Cover-Up" - it was just that, an accident. In short, any gun loaded with a blank is considered "loaded", and therefore locked up by the prop dept. until just before "action" is called. Any gun left out all day, as the one that killed him was, is known to have empty chambers. When you're an actor that holds a gun as a prop, sometimes for hours a day, playing, twirling, tossing, or scratching your head or leg with it, feels absolutely normal (I was a figure skater and would often unconsciously use my blade to scratch an itch, and yes, I split my skin at least once a month). 

On set, October 12, 1984, Jon-Erik was upset at the lateness of the day, promised he'd be released hours earlier to catch a plane for Las Vegas, where he was to appear on "Circus of the Stars", a show he'd been training hard for. He was exhausted, and had fallen asleep on a set-bed there on the Fox soundstage. Groggy, waking, checking his watch, he most likely muttered something like "Come on! get me out of here", and pulled the trigger. He would have done this with his hand and finger, just like some people do to signal frustration, but that damn gun happened to be on the nightstand. An awful happenstance. And that was the end of his life. I know all of these things, for seconds after the shot was heard and blood was seen, signifying that this gun was in fact loaded, one of the responsible set people called me as he was being bundled into a nearby station wagon and rushed to a nearby hospital. There is much more to this horrible tale, and it can be found in various forms on the web, some of it written by me, for those who care to search.

I'd like to focus on the life and spirit and incredible charm and appearance that was the Jon-Erik Hexum I knew and loved. You'll see a link that will lead you to a page of many images we made together. He always kept the copyright with me- we planned to create a calendar someday - and just a few years ago I finally began selling a few of my hundreds of images due to constant requests. I hope you will enjoy seeing them, and I thank you for your interest, which helps keep this wonderful man, and dearly missed friend, a bit still with us.

Most Sincerely,
Christie Jenkins
Seattle, 2008

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