Lee Thompson Young (Courtesy Lee Thompson Young Official Facebook page)
Monday, August 19, 2013
Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young was found dead today in his apartment, a Los Angeles police official told ABC News. He was 29.
Police did not immediately disclose details or a cause of death, though Young's manager, Jonathan Baruch, said in a statement that the actor committed suicide.
"It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning," the statement read. "Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time."
Young rose to fame as the star of the Disney show "The Famous Jett Jackson," which aired from 1998 to 2001. He went on to act in films including "Friday Night Lights" (as Chris Comer) and "Akeelah and the Bee" and appeared in TV shows including "Smallville," "Scrubs" and "CSI: NY."
He most recently was featured on the show "Rizzoli & Isles."
"Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young," TNT, Warner Bros. and Rizzoli & Isles executive producer Janet Tamaro said in a statement. "We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man.
"He was truly a member of our family," the statement added. "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 said he never forgot his roots as a child star.
"It's always a really great feeling when I talk to people who watched 'Jett Jackson,' because we were the same age, he told EW.com in 2011. "We were all kids. I was 13 when I started working on that show and that was part of my childhood. And it's kind of like we have that in common.
"It means a lot to me when people enjoyed it and when it was a part of their childhood," he added. "It's cool when you see people revert back for a quick second to middle school, and they're like, 'Oh, man! I remember. ...' It's really great to me that our work is still with people after 10 years."