Sawyer Sweeten's family and friends are reeling in the wake of his death on Thursday, April 23. As previously reported, the former child star died of an apparent suicide at age 19, leaving his loved ones shocked, grieving, and wondering what went wrong.
Sweeten's manager, Dino May, tells Us Weekly there were "no signs" of trouble prior to the Everybody Loves Raymond actor taking his own life. "Everybody was shocked," he says. "[There was] no depression, no nothing. He was a good kid. Teenage stuff, but no depression, no signs or anything."
He adds that there was nothing "Hollywood" about Sweeten, and that he wasn't "doing drugs or…anything like that." He was "just a great, very quiet, very shy kid," May tells Us.
Indeed, while his sister Madilyn was interested in pursuing more acting work in Hollywood, Sawyer and his twin brother Sullivan sought a more low-key life out of the spotlight. May says they'd decided to take some time off after working throughout much of their childhood. (The boys were just a year old when they joined Ray Romano's sitcom in 1996; the show ended when they were 10.)
"They had definitely taken a very strong hiatus," May says.
With that hiatus came new hobbies. "[He] loved his video games," May recalls. "I always thought he would go into some kind of video game adventure, you know? Good kid, no drugs, no nothing, no drama, good parents. Everybody got along."
May says, too, that the Sweeten kids had kept in touch with their former TV family — many of whom spoke out after Sawyer's death.
Series star Romano, for one, told Us in a statement, "I'm shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer. 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."
Patricia Heaton, who played Sawyer's on-screen mom and Romano's wife on the series, also expressed her condolences, describing Sawyer as a "funny and exceptionally bright young man…gone from us far too soon." She added, "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."
His sister Madilyn shared a similar plea. In a statement to Us confirming that Sawyer had taken his own life just weeks before his 20th birthday, she added, "At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love."
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