Sam Sarpong Dies: Tommy Hilfiger Model, Yo Momma Host, Actor Dead of Apparent Suicide at 40

Sam Sarpong Dies: Love Don't Cost a Thing Star Dead at 35
British-American actor, model, and TV host Sam Sarpong died at age 40 on Oct. 26 of an apparent suicide.  Brian To/Getty Images For Beverly Center

UPDATE: Ed Winter, spokesperson for the County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner — Coroner, confirms to Us that Sarpong died on Monday after jumping off a bridge. 

"It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away," his family said in a statement via his rep. "The circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation and no additional details are known at this time. … The famikly appreciates the thoughts and prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request that privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time."

The statement also noted that final arrangements are forthcoming.

According to a news release from the Pasadena Police Department, a witness called law enforcement on Monday morning after seeing a man standing outside of the bridge railing. Officers and firefighters communicated with him for hours, but he ultimately jumped to his death. 

"It is sad and troubling when an individual has become so despondent that he or she feels their only option is to end their life," Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said in a statement. "These incidents can often have a significant impact on the victim's loved ones, first responders, and the community as a whole. My prayers go out to the family."

British-American actor and model Sam Sarpong passed away on Monday, Oct. 26, sources confirm to Us Weekly. Sarpong took his own life. He was 40 at the time of his death. 

He was a co-host on MTV’s Yo Momma alongside Wilmer Valderrama. Sarpong was a model for Tommy Hilfiger and was the face of the brand for several years. 

Sam Sarpong attends party
Sam Sarpong attends Tommy Hilfiger and Vanity Fair Host a Party to Celebrate Vanity Fair Magazine's December Issue in 1999. Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

“I went from barely being able to pay my bills to now being an international model,” Sarpong told Black Hollywood Live in July 2013. “I made a lot of money early. Luckily I had my father to guide me.”

The Brit had 76 credits to his name, and had a minor role as a neighbor in the upcoming FX event series American Crime Story. In the spring, Sarpong appeared in two episodes of Bones as Thomas Saltz, a man connected to a murder victim. 

Love Don't Cost A Thing
2003's Love Don't Cost A Thing Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

He has also had roles on hit shows such as My So-Called Life, Boston Public, Veronica Mars, Everybody Hates Chris, Cold Case, and 24. He played Kadeem in 2003’s Love Don’t Cost a Thingalongside Nick Cannon and Christina Milian

Sam is survived by his TV host sister, June Sarpong, and father, Samuel Sarpong Sr

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post said Sarpong was 35. He was 40. His date of death has also been corrected to Oct. 26.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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