LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lee Thompson Young, who began his acting career as the teenage star of the Disney Channel’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” and was featured in the film “Friday Night Lights” and the series “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead Monday, police said. He was 29.
There was no official cause of death, but Young’s manager, Paul Baruch, said the actor “tragically took his own life.”
“Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time,” Baruch said in a statement.
Young’s body was found at his North Hollywood home by police Monday morning after he failed to show up for work on TNT’s crime drama “Rizzoli & Isles,” police Officer Sally Madera said. The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned and pronounced him dead at the scene, she said.
LAPD robbery-homicide detectives and the Los Angeles County coroner office were investigating because it is a high-profile death, she said. Madera had no details about the cause of death.
In the TNT series, Young played fledgling police Detective Barry Frost, who’s computer savvy but squeamish. Earlier Monday, the channel announced it was renewing the series that stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
“We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. ... Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace,” said TNT, studio Warner Bros. and series producer Janet Tamaro in a joint statement.
In 1998, Young began starring in “The Famous Jett Jackson,” playing a TV action hero who returns to his roots for a less high-profile life. The series ran until 2001.