Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young, 29, has died of an apparent suicide. The cast members of his current show Rizzoli & Isles are devastated and have now been put on a hiatus. Police are still investigating as there were no signs that Young was depressed or suffering in any way. Here are 5 Fast Facts on the star and how he tragically lost his life.
1. Young’s Death Appears to be Self-Inflicted
Gia Allemand's funeral was today. News of Lee Thompson Young's suicide just broke. Quite sad. Suicide warning signs: http://t.co/ogfRgxYlyO
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) August 19, 2013
According to TMZ, Young appears to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on Monday morning. But, apparently there is no suicide note and the diary he kept shows no indication of sadness or signs something like this could happen.
Young’s publicist released this sad statement:
It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning … Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed.
2. The Landlord Discovered The Rizzoli & Isles Star
It was sadly Young’s landlord who made the gruesome discovery of the possible suicide. TMZ reports:
Young currently appears in the TNT show “Rizzoli & Isles” — and we’re told when he didn’t show up to work this morning, staffers called the landlord of Young’s L.A. home to check up on the actor.
Apparently, the landlord saw Young’s body as soon as he opened the door around 8 a.m.
RIP Lee Thompson Young. Thoughts and prayers to family, friends and the Rizzoli & Isles crew.
— Daniel Ben-Zvi (@DanBenZvi) August 19, 2013
3. Jett Jackson Was Young’s Most Famous Role
Playing the lead character on Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson was Young’s claim to fame, though he has appeared in a host of other films and shows. Young auditioned for the role a year after he moved to New York and then he filmed the pilot episode. He didn’t find out the show had been picked up by Disney for another whole year after that.
Btw the way, shout out to all the Jett Jackson fans who have been hitting me up in twitter! Love you guys
— Lee Thompson Young (@Lee_T_Young) August 12, 2011
4. Young Was a True Renaissance Man
— Brittany Simone (@BrittanySimone2) December 14, 2011
Growing up, Young Attended the Professional Performing Arts High School, where stars including Claire Danes and Britney Spears went to school. Young is a native of South Carolina. His first role was as Martin Luther King in the play A Night of Stars and Dreams, after that he decided to become an actor. He moved to New York in 1996 after doing community theater for a while in order to pursue this dream further and signed with an agent that year.
Rest in peace Lee Thompson Young!!! I can't believe you're gone. Gunna miss you on Rizzoli & Isles you were amazing ❤
— ♡ (@MelissaParkerx) August 19, 2013
According to IMDB, Young also attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts on a full academic scholarship, where he graduated with honors. In addition, he’s a fantastic photographer who loves to travel and discover new cultures. He’s also trained in Wun Hop Kuen Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Lastly, his passion for education and children drives him as a strong supporter of the Children’s Defense Fund. It’s safe to say that Lee Thompson Young was a true Renaissance man.
As far as Young’s love life, much like his “suicide”, it’s a bit of a mystery. But, there are rumors that he was dating his former co-star Kerry Duff.
5. Rizzoli & Isles Has Shut Down Production
Young has appeared in many projects from Friday Night Lights to Flash Forward to Smallville. Currently, he plays Detective Barry Frost, partner to Angie Harmon’s character Jane Rizzoli. Before taking on the role, Young studied extensively with the Homicide Unit of the Boston Police Department in order to prepare. According to CNN, Rizzoli & Isles’ Executive Producer Janet Tamaro said the rest of the cast and crew are devastated. She also stated:
We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. 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. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.
I was off for two days, now back to set… You know you're blessed when you actually miss your coworkers :)
— Lee Thompson Young (@Lee_T_Young) June 30, 2011
Sadly, due to this horrible news, Rizzoli & Isles has been put on an indefinite hiatus.