Comic Actor Jay Leggett Dies at 50

Courtesy Everett Collection

The ‘In Living Color’ performer collapsed and died after a day of deer hunting in Wisconsin.

Jay Leggett, a comic actor and screenwriter who starred for a season on Fox’s In Living Color, died Saturday of natural causes after a day of deer hunting near his hometown of Tomahawk, Wis., authorities said. He was 50.

Emergency crews were called to a cabin near Tomahawk just after 4 p.m. Saturday and arrived to find family members performing CPR on Leggett, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department said.

In 2011, Leggett produced and co-directed the documentary To the Hunt, told through scenes at several Lincoln County deer camps and shacks.

“He was doing what he loved,” Mary Schlag, the manager of the Tomahawk Cinema, where Leggett’s documentary premiered, told the Wausau Daily Herald. “If there’s any comfort in his passing, that’s it. He was doing something he loved.”

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A former regular in Chicago’s improv scene, Leggett co-wrote, produced and appeared in Employee of the Month, starring Matt Dillon, and co-wrote Without a Paddle, starring Seth Green, Dax Shepard and Matthew Lillard. Both comedies were released in 2004.

The rotund Leggett most recently wrote, directed and produced Live Nude Girls, a feature comedy about a strip club starring Dave Foley that took to this summer to raise money for production.

Leggett played various characters during the 1993-94 season of the Saturday night sketch comedy In Living Color. He also appeared on such shows as ER, Between Brothers, Ally McBeal, Star Trek: Voyager, The Drew Carey Show, NYPD Blue and Spike TV’s Factory.

His film résumé also included roles in Hero (1992), Hit Me (1996), Larry Clark’s Another Day in Paradise (1996) and Division III: Football's Finest (2011).

Leggett graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and performed with Chicago’s Improv Olympic comedy troupe. At the time of his death, he was living in Los Angeles and teaching improv at the iO West Theater in Hollywood.