Child star Lee Thompson Young found dead: Disney and Smallville actor 'tragically took his own life'
Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young has died aged 29 after apparently committing suicide.
The American actor, who gained fame as the teenage star of the Disney Channel's The Famous Jett Jackson, was also known for roles in Scrubs and Smallville.
Police confirmed that Young’s body was found at his North Hollywood home on Monday after he failed to show up for work filming TNT crime drama Rizzoli & Isles.
The Los Angeles Fire Department pronounced him dead at the scene, according to police Officer Sally Madera.
No official cause of death has been announced but Young’s manager Paul Baruch said the actor "tragically took his own life."
Ms Madera said in a statement that Los Angeles police detectives and the Los Angeles County coroner's office would launch a joint investigation “because it is a high-profile death”.
According to TMZ, the actor died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed,” Baruch said.
“We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time.”
Young played police Detective Barry Frost Rizzoli & Isles, a popular crime drama also starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, which had just been renewed for another series by TNT.
"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.
Young started his acting career aged 10 when he played Martin Luther King Jr. in a play staged in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina.
From 1998 to 2001 he appeared in The Famous Jett Jackson as a TV action hero who returns to his roots for a less high-profile life.
He also made appearances in The Guardian, Scrubs and Smallville and in the films Akeelah and the Bee, Friday Night Lights and The Hills Have Eyes II.
Young also appeared ABC television series FlashForward in which his character committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.
Speaking about the role in 2009, Young said: " The fact that he saw himself [in the near future] on the phone with a lawyer, talking about a case in which he accidentally killed the mother of two small children …He [my character] was trying desperately to figure out if there was any way he could change that."
"And, in the meantime, everything in everyone else’s flash forward seemed to be coming true, step-by-step, so he was unable to sleep at night. He was depressed, frustrated, angry. He felt powerless. And, in the end, he finally decided that this is how he could change that.
Young, a graduate of University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, was a keen photographer, traveller and student of martial arts.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she "lied" to husband about failed drugs tests
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?
Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
Star Wars 7: Plot details 'leak', with sequel's opening sequence and premise revealed
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains