In the 20th episode of “21 Jump Street” Season 2, titled “Best Years of Your Life,” Brad Pitt has a guest spot as an antagonistic character for both Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise). During the episode, Hanson and Penhall investigate a string of break-ins and burglaries. They soon catch the young boy committing the crimes, only for him to die by suicide afterwards.
Pitt plays the role of Peter — the boyfriend of a girl in Hanson and Penhall’s friend group — who tries to knock some sense into Penhall after he begins handling the suicide of the arrested boy very strangely. Penhall starts to make jokes and snide comments about suicide in general, and at the end of the episode, we learn that Penhall dealt with alcoholic parents and that they are both deceased, indicating that the suicide is likely triggering for him. It’s a pretty heavy episode for Pitt to be a part of, and it was only his second year of being in the business getting official acting credits.
Previously, Pitt had a couple of short roles on other popular shows such as “Dallas.” Not too long after “21 Jump Street,” Pitt began his rise in Hollywood as a heartthrob and gifted actor, appearing in more television series in the late ’80s to early ’90s like “Growing Pains” and “Glory Days,” and then skyrocketing to fame with many lead movie roles. Overall, being a part of “21 Jump Street” was a pretty cool rung on the ladder for Pitt and his acting career.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).