Figure Skating Champ Christopher Bowman Dies of Possible Drug Overdose

Christopher Bowman, the former U.S. figure skating champion called "Bowman the Showman" for his flair on the ice, died Thursday of a possible drug overdose, authorities said. He was 40.

Bowman was pronounced dead at 12:06 p.m., said Coroner's Lt. Joe Bale, who wasn't immediately able to provide more details about the possible drug overdose.

Bowman's body was found at a motel in the North Hills section of Los Angeles, and an autopsy was planned for this weekend, Bale said.

Bowman, a former child actor, won U.S. men's figure skating titles in 1989 and 1992, and was a two-time medalist at the world championships. Bowman also competed in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics, finishing seventh and fourth, respectively.

The skater also had some run-ins with the law.

In November 2004, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors involving having a gun while drunk in Rochester Hills, Mich.

In 1993, while skating with the Ice Capades, he was beaten at a hotel in a seedy neighborhood in Pittsburgh, according to a police report.

Born in Hollywood, Calif., on March 30, 1967, Bowman had a part in the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" for one season and appeared in dozens of commercials.

Recently, Bowman had returned to acting. He had a role an assistant coach in the upcoming Brian J. De Palma-directed movie "Down and Distance" staring Gary Busey.