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Lee Thompson Young of 'Famous Jett Jackson' commits suicide

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Actor Lee Thompson Young, the star of Disney's "The Famous Jett Jackson" had successfully transitioned to adult roles in the TNT series "Rizzoli & Isles." It was enough to brighten the overwhelming darkness of his soul - Young committed suicide in his Los Angeles apartment earlier this week. He was only 29.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning," Young's manager Jonathan Baruch said.

"Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed," Baruch said. "We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time."

The police were called to his North Hollywood apartment when he failed to show up for work for "Rizzoli & Isles." Young was reportedly found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A diary of his was found at the scene - but there was no suicide note.

Playing the lead on Disney's "The Famous Jett Jackson" television series which began in 1998, Young had been portraying Detective Barry Frost on "Rizzoli & Isles."

"Rizzoli & Isles" Executive Producer Janet Tamaro said the cast and crew were "devastated by the news."

"We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man," Tamaro 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 on the TV show has been suspended with news of Young's death.

Young, born in Canada, also co-starred on UPN's "South Beach" and had recurring roles on "FlashForward," "Scrubs" and "Smallville," Baruch said. His feature credits include "Friday Night Lights," "Akeelah and the Bee" and "The Hills Have Eyes II."

Famous child stars typically fall from favor as they age. Roles offered tend to dry up, plunging the actor into despondency. The incident has eerie parallels to the Freddie Prinze suicide, who likewise took his own life at the age of 22 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1977. Prinze was at the pinnacle of his fame and fortune as the star of the "Chico and the Man" TV show and was a frequent guest host of "The Tonight Show" at the time of his death.

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