Sad news for fans of Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson. Lee Thompson Young, who played the title role in the late-1990s kids’ series, has died after what officials believe is a suicide, his publicist confirms to TMZ. He was 29 years old.
UPDATE: Young’s publicist tells TMZ, “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning…Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed.”
According to the site, Young was discovered with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found on Monday, Aug. 19, after staffers on the set of Rizzoli & Isles — which featured the former teen star as Boston detective Barry Frost — called the actor’s landlord to check his apartment when he failed to show up for work.
Shortly after news broke of the star’s death, Rizzoli & Isles creator Janet Tamaro took to Twitter to pay tribute to Young. “We are all without the words to truly express our collective grief and profound sadness at the loss of such a sweet, bright light,” she tweeted. “We are broken-hearted. #RIPLeeThompsonYoung.”
Young first rose to fame in 1998, when The Famous Jett Jackson — about a teenage boy who plays a secret agent on a hit TV show — was picked up by the Disney Channel. He later reprised the role in a 2001 movie about the character.
After the series was canceled in 2001, Young had roles in movies including Friday Night Lights and Akeelah and the Bee. He also appeared on TV shows such as Smallville, Scrubs, and, most recently, Rizzoli & Isles.
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