Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young commits suicide at 29 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young commits suicide at 29

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Actor Lee Thompson Young, who starred in the Disney Channel children's series "The Famous Jett Jackson," has died at age 29, his publicist told NBC News. His death was an apparent suicide by gunshot, the Los Angeles Police Department confirms.

"It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning," manager Jonathan Baruch said in a statement. "Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will truly be missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends at this very difficult time."

Young's body was discovered in his Los Angeles home on Monday. A source close to Young confirmed to NBC News that when Young didn't show up for work on the TNT crime drama "Rizzoli & Isles," police were sent to Young's home where his body was discovered shortly after 8 a.m. PT.

"We are all without the words to truly express our collective grief and profound sadness at the loss of such a sweet, bright light," "Rizzoli & Isles" showrunner Janet Tamaro tweeted on Monday. "We are broken-hearted."

Young starred on "Jett Jackson" from its 1998 pilot through the show's cancellation in 2001, and also played the role in a follow-up movie. The character of Jackson was a young actor who moved from Hollywood to a fictional small town in North Carolina to live with his father while continuing to film the television show upon which he played a teen spy. Young was nominated for two Young Artist lead actor awards for the role.

Young portrayed running back Chris Comer in the 2004 movie "Friday Night Lights." His other movie work included parts in "Akeelah and the Bee" and "The Hills Have Eyes 2." He also appeared on television shows, including "Smallville" and "FlashForward," as well as the regular role on "Rizzoli & Isles."

Young, a South Carolina native, was inspired to become an actor when he played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a play when he was just 10 years old, a biography provided by TNT stated.

On "Rizzoli & Isles," he played Detective Barry Frost, the computer-savvy but squeamish partner of title detective Jane Rizzoli, played by Angie Harmon. "Rizzoli & Isles" had planned to shoot the final episode of its fourth season this week, but after news of Young's death broke, production on the crime drama was shut down Monday.

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