HomeNewsRebecca Godfrey Brother Jonathan's Demise Is Featured In Under The Bridge

Rebecca Godfrey Brother Jonathan’s Demise Is Featured In Under The Bridge

Hulu released Under the Bridge based on Rebecca Godfrey's book on April 17, 2024.

Rebecca Godfrey was a Canadian novelist and non-fiction writer famous for The Tom Skirt and Under the Bridge.

Quinn Shephard developed a true crime drama based on Rebecca Godfrey’s book Under the Bridge, which included her brother’s demise.


  • Rebecca Godfrey was only 13 when her brother Jonathan passed away, falling down a coastal bluff.
  • She felt it was her fault for her brother’s demise, which had a profound impact on her teenage.
  • She passed away from complications of lung cancer at 54 in New York City.

Rebecca Godfrey, the daughter of Dave Godfrey and Ellen Godfrey, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on December 2, 1967.

Her parents were writers and moved to Victoria, British Columbia, at an early age.

She studied English at the University of Toronto and earned an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Rebecca started her career as a journalist and editor before writing books. Her first book, The Torn Skirt (2001), was shortlisted for the 2002 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Likewise, her second book, Under the Bridge (2005), received British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2006.

Sadly, she passed away at 54 from complications of lung cancer in New York City on October 3, 2022.

Rebecca Godfrey Brother Jonathan’s Demise Had Profound Impact On Her Teenage

The Canadian Novelist Rebecca Godfrey grew up with her two brothers, Jonathan and Samuel. Unfortunately, her elder brother Jonathan faced a tragic exit.

When Jonathan passed, he was sixteen years old, and Rebecca was only thirteen.

Jonathan passed away on August 10, 1981, in an accident where he fell down a coastal bluff from a height of 23 meters and drowned.

The real-life tragedy inspired the character of Gabe in Hulu’s Under the Bridge, which is based on Rebecca Godfrey’s own experiences as a teenager.

Rebecca felt it was her fault for her brother’s tragic demise, but the TV series doesn’t explain why she felt so.

Her brother’s demise had a profound impact on her, and she went through a very difficult teenage experience. She got into the punk scene and expressed,

Being in that scene was great because I could hide behind this mask of anger and coolness and toughness, and think, “Oh, I look scary, so everyone will leave me alone.”

Although she didn’t look as tough as she thought, the music and that crowd were a good disguise. 

The emotional depth of the murder case in Under the Bridge is further intertwined with her personal trauma and past tragedies, adding complexity to the storyline.

On the other hand, her brother Samuel lived a low-profile life. Rebecca hasn’t talked much about him.

However, considering the close bond she shared with Jonathan, she might also have had a close sibling bond with Samuel.

Rebecca’s spouse, Herbert Wilson, their daughter Ada, mother, and brother Samuel survive her.

Additional Information

  • Rebecca Godfrey taught fiction workshops and a seminar on Anti-Heroines in literature at Columbia University.
  • She collaborated with Quinn Shepard for two and a half years to adapt the book Under the Bridge for the screen.
  • Her husband’s name is Herbert Wilson, and they share a daughter, Ada.
Ashish Maharjan
Ashish Maharjan
Ashish Maharjan, author at thedeparturefilm, has been covering entertainment news with a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling. An editor and writer with a passion for capturing the essence of athletic competition.


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