Lee Thompson Young, an actor seen currently on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead Monday, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
TMZ.com first reported the story here. The actor’s death and suicide were later confirmed by TNT, “Rizzoli & Isles” creator Janet Tamaro and the actor’s manager, Jonathan Baruch.
“Everyone at ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young,” said a statement issued Monday afternoon by TNT on behalf of the network and the show’s cast and crew.
“We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man,” the statement said. “He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and off-screen, 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.”
Production has reportedly ceased on the set of “Rizzoli & Isles” so that the cast and crew can deal with their grief.
In an earlier statement, Jonathan Baruch confirmed the actor’s suicide. “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning,” Baruch is quoted as saying in a statement to Deadline.com. “Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor,” Baruch said. “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.”
The AP reported that Young’s body was discovered at around 8 a.m. Pacific time Monday at his Los Angeles home by a landlord who went to check up on the 29-year-old actor after he failed to show up at work. TMZ quoted unnamed sources as saying “Young’s body was discovered with a gunshot wound that appears to be self-inflicted.”
“We are all without the words to truly express our collective grief and profound sadness at the loss of such a sweet, bright light,” Tamaro wrote on Twitter. “We are broken-hearted. #RIPLeeThompsonYoung.”
Young became a TV star as a teen-ager in the title role of the Disney Channel series “The Famous Jett Jackson” (1998-2001).
On “Rizzoli & Isles,” he played Det. Barry Frost, a colleague of the show’s principal characters played by Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon.
As of 2:30 p.m. eastern time on Monday, there was no word on the possible reasons he may have committed suicide. TNT renewed “Rizzoli & Isles” last week for a fifth season.