Sawyer Sweeten, who was just a year old when he and his twin brother joined the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, died from a suspected suicide at age 19 on Thursday, April 23. The former child actor’s castmates, including series lead Ray Romano and his onscreen wife Patricia Heaton, released statements mourning the death of Sweeten.
Romano grieved the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of his onscreen son. “I’m shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer,” Romano told Us Weekly in his statement. “He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around. Just a great energy whenever he was there. My heart breaks for him, his family, and his friends during this very difficult time.”
Heaton, who played Sawyer’s on-screen mom Debra Barone, also mourned the death of the actor in a statement to Us Weekly. “Sawyer was a funny and exceptionally bright young man. He is gone from us far too soon,” she told Us. “The loss the Sweeten family is experiencing is unimaginable. Tonight hug your children a little tighter and please keep Sawyer and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
The entire cast of #EverybodyLovesRaymond is in shock. Prayers for the Sweeten family.
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) April 24, 2015
Another Everybody Loves Raymond alum Brad Garrett echoed his castmates’ sentiments. “We are all devastated by this tragic news,” Garrett told Us on Friday, April 24. “The Sweeten family was our family for those nine years on Raymond. My deepest condolences and love go out to them during this unimaginable time.”
Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal further commented on Sawyer’s sudden death. “We knew and loved Sawyer as a little boy,” Rosenthal said (via Deadline). “He and his real life siblings Sullivan and Madylin were such a charming, integral part of our TV family. They never failed to make us laugh, or remind of us how we feel about our own children. We are terribly sad to hear this news and our hearts go out to Sawyer’s family.”
Barone family matriarch Doris Roberts took to Facebook on Thursday night to remember her onscreen grandson. “It is with great sadness that I learned the news that Sawyer Sweeten, who played my grandson Geoffrey Barone on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ died at his family’s home in Texas,” she wrote. “He was a very sweet young man who will be dearly missed. Make sure your loved ones know how much you care about them, and please check in with them if you haven’t touched base with them for a while. It’s very important to keep in touch.”
Sawyer and his twin brother Sullivan were 10 when Everybody Loves Raymond ended its nine-season run on CBS in 2005.
The late star’s big sister Madylin confirmed to Us Weekly that Sawyer had died of suicide. “This morning a terrible family tragedy has occurred,” the actress, who played Ally Barone on the series, told Us. “We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday. At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love.”
Sawyer’s manager also confirmed the news to Us on Thursday night, saying: “With a broken heart it is true that he passed away.”
Meanwhile, other celebrities also grieved the tragic death of the 19-year-old actor, including Even Stevens actress Christy Carlson Romano. Sawyer appeared on the Disney Channel series in a 2000 episode as a character named Milton.
#SawyerSweeten another one of us….#rip #lookingafterdoc
— ChristyCarlsonRomano (@ChristyRomano) April 24, 2015
Fellow former child star Lacey Chabert also tweeted her condolences.
My thoughts are with the family of #SawyerSweeten Heartbreaking news.
— Lacey Chabert (@IamLaceyChabert) April 24, 2015
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