'Famous Jett Jackson' Star Lee Thompson Young Dies At 29
Lee Thompson Young, who starred on TNT's Rizzoli & Isles and played the main character on Disney's The Famous Jett Jackson for three years, has died after committing suicide. He was 29.
LAPD officer Sally Madera told the Associated Press that police found Young's body Monday morning at his North Hollywood home after he failed to show up for work on the TNT crime drama -- he played Barry Frost alongside Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned and pronounced him dead at the scene, she said.
Production on the show, which was renewed last week along with TNT's other summer original dramas, has been shut down today. It's unclear when it will resume, as the writers are now tasked with figuring out how to address Young's death on the series -- the network has confirmed to THR that Young was set to return as a series regular.
Rizzoli, which will return for its fifth season next year, has averaged 8.4 million viewers this season when factoring in DVR viewing, up 6 percent year-over-year. The season-four finale airs Sept. 10 with the second half of its fourth season returning in early 2014. The fifth season will consist of 15 episodes.
TNT, Warner Bros. and Rizzoli & Isles showrunner Janet Tamaro issued the following statement:
"Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. 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."
Young's longtime manager Jonathan Baruch released the following 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."
Earlier, Tamaro took to Twitter with the following two poignant posts:
We are all without the words to truly express our collective grief and profound sadness at the loss of such a sweet, bright light.— janet tamaro (@JanetTamaro) August 19, 2013
We are broken-hearted. #RIPLeeThompsonYoung— janet tamaro (@JanetTamaro) August 19, 2013