Television Actor and Disney Channel Veteran, Lee Thompson Young, was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment this morning. The cause of death is a gunshot wound that was apparently self inflicted. LA Police have not commented on the Young’s cause of death, but a statement from his manager, Jonathan Baruch, confirmed that the young actor took his own life.
Lee Thompson Young starred in TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles as Det. Barry Frost. He formerly was the star of his own Disney Channel Show, The Famous Jett Jackson (1998-2001) and stared in 2004’s Friday Night Lights (the movie, not the TV series) as football player, Chris Comer. He also starred as Keke Palmer’s brother, Devon, in 2006’s Akelah and the Bee. Lee Thompson Young also had roles in The Guardian, FlashForward, Scrubs, South Beach and Smallville.
Lee Thompson Young’s body was discovered this morning when his landlord went to check on him after receiving a call from Rizzoli & Isles’ producers, who were concerned when Young did not report to the set this morning. Lee Thompson Young began playing the role of Det. Barry Frost in 2010. Frost is the new partner to Angie Harmon’s Rizzoli. Frost is a computer whiz, a committed police officer and a loyal partner to Rizzoli.
A representative of Rizzoli & Isles released the following statement regarding the loss 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.”
Rizzoli & Isles is a TV series that airs on TNT. The show focuses on Police detective, Jane Rizzoli, played by Angie Harmon, and Medical Examiner, Dr. Maura Isles, played by Sasha Alexander. These two friends solve crimes in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. The show is in its fourth season, but production has been suspended due to Young’s death. Rizzoli & Isles has been renewed for a fifth season that was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014.
Lee Thompson Young was born in South Carolina in 1984. He started acting when he was ten years old. A few years later he obtained an agent after traveling to New York. He auditioned for the lead role in The Famous Jett Jackson in 1997 and the pilot was picked up by The Disney Channel in 1998. The show was about a famous young actor who wanted to live the normal life of an American teenager. Young also starred in a movie version of the series, Jett Jackson: The Movie. It was the first time that the Disney Channel had made a movie that was based on an original Disney Channel series.
Lee Thompson Young graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC where he majored in Cinematic Arts. Lee Thompson Young was 29 years old and is survived by his mother, Velma and his father, Tommy Scott Young.
By Karen Walcott