Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young has died aged 29 after suicide. There was no official cause of death, but Young’s manager confirmed Monday that the Famous Jett Jackson actor ‘tragically took his own life.’
‘Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed,’ said Paul Baruch. ‘We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time.’
Young’s body was found at his North Hollywood home by police Monday morning after he failed to show up for work on TNT’s crime drama Rizzoli & Isles, police Officer Sally Madera said. The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned and pronounced him dead at the scene, she said.
‘We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace,’ TNT, studio Warner Bros. and series producer Janet Tamaro said in a joint statement. They sent condolences to his mother and other family members.
LAPD robbery-homicide detectives and the Los Angeles County coroner office were investigating because it is a high-profile death, she said. Madera had no details about the cause of death. According to TMZ, the actor died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Young’s death is the second high profile suicide in a week following Bachelor star Gia Allemand’s hanging last Monday and subsequent death Wednesday, also at the age of 29.
According to a biography from TNT, Young was inspired to pursue acting when, at age, 10, he played Martin Luther King Jr. in a play in Young’s hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. He made a name for himself as the title character in Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson, which ran from 1998 to 2001. He then went on to play running back Chris Comer in the 2004 film Friday Night Lights, before landing the lead role on Rizzoli & Isles for the past three seasons as Boston police detective Barry Frost.
He was a graduate of University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, an avid photographer, traveler and student of martial arts, according to his biography.