Merritt Butrick, a native of Gainesville, Fla. who grew up in the San Fransisco area, portrayed Dr. David Marcus, son of James T. Kirk and Dr. Carol Marcus, in two movies: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

He had just been cast in ST II after starting work as a regular on the short-lived but critical and cult favorite 1982 "new wave" high school series Square Pegs, playing Johnny "Slash" Ulasewicz opposite an equally young Sarah Jessica Parker and Jamie Gertz. 

Star Trek beckoned again when he was cast as T'Jon, an Ornaran freighter captain in "Symbiosis," a first-year TNG episode about addiction. Butrick's young career, which included TV and film roles and positive reviews for the play Kingfish in Los Angeles (his last performance), was cut short at age 29 when he died of AIDS-related toxoplasmosis on March 17 1989, only a year after making his TNG appearance.