Lee Thompson Young Dead at 29; Starred on Disney Channel's Jett Jackson, Rizzoli & Isles

Lee Thompson Young Dead at Age 29Disney Channel star turned Rizzoli & Isles cast member Lee Thompson Young was found dead at his Los Angeles apartment on Monday morning.

Per TMZ, which was first to report on the tragedy, the 29-year-old actor suffered a fatal gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted.

ABC News has since confirmed Young’s death.

RELATED | How 22 TV Shows Handled a Cast Member’s Death

Production on the back half of Rizzoli’s current season was suspended Monday and possibly will take a short hiatus. A statement from TNT, Warner Bros. TV and Rizzoli & Isles EP Janet Tamaro reads as follows:

Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. 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. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.

Young’s TV credits include the title role in Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson (which ran from 1998 to 2001), Scrubs, FlashForward and Smallville (where he played Cyborg). On Rizzoli, he has costarred as Detective Barry Frost since the TNT series’ pilot.

On the big screen, he played running back Chris Comer in 2004′s Friday Night Lights.

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150 Comments
  1. CJ says:

    OMG I am in absolute shock – this breaks my heart.

    • Annie says:

      Same here. What a tragic loss. Suicide is the ultimate permanent solution to temporary problems, though of course we have no idea what was going on in his life. I just ache for him, and his family and colleagues. Loved watching him in R&I. Can’t imagine how they’re going to deal with this.

      • CJ says:

        His loss from Rizzoli & Isles will be hard to take, but nothing compared to losing him from this world. My heart hurts so much for his loved ones. As you said, it’s a permanent solution to temporary problems. So, so sad.

      • Temperenace says:

        I find it really heinous when people start jabbing people that commit suicide. It basically amounts to sheeple towing the traditional patriarchal authoritarian propaganda to keep the serfs and slaves in line and alive, doing their bidding as they ground them in to the earth (how very modern teaPub). It’s a shame since Young seemed to have so many gifts and so much potential, but you didn’t walk in his shoes, so it’s far and away not your place to judge.

        • Charles says:

          What!!!!! or is just me.

          • Temperenace says:

            It’s just you. Parroting the standard ‘suicide is bad’ is standard patriarchal conservative gibberish – and offensive.

        • jason says:

          ur an idiot no one is jabbing at people that commit suicide all they are saying is that suicide may be a quick solution to what ur dealing with its not the answer not knowing wut he was going through they just are saying there must have been another way

          • sandi says:

            i agree with you,jason. we weren’t there and we DON’T know what he was dealing with.maybe he didn’t talk to anyone who could have helped him. i will really miss him, he was one of my favorite characters, beside r&i.i’m sure there was another way, he just didn’t find it. prayers for his friends and family.

        • Judy says:

          It’s not just Charles. You seem to have some issues and this is not the forum to address them. Serfs and slaves have nothing to do with this. Suicide is never a solution to anything, period. Woe is me. Poor little actors aren’t getting the attention they think they deserve so they do drugs or commit suicide. Another talented person lost because they are not brave enough to stay and fight the demons. They choose the easy way out and we are suppose to feel sorry? We are all actors on the stage of life. The only difference is, they get bigger paychecks than the rest of us.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      WHAT?!!! Sigh. Such an awesome talent.

    • David7118 says:

      I’m in shock as well. While I never saw his Disney show I love him on R&I. If you’re thinking about suicide there are people out there who you can talk to: 1-800-273-8255
      National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 1-800-SUICIDE 1-800-784-2433

    • Alrisha6 says:

      I’m in shock. Such an unvelibable new. Rest in peace. My favorite characther in R&I

    • dan mcguire says:

      I’ve never heard of this guy so I’m not moved by his suicide at all. It’s like reading statistics. I find it boring.

      • sandi says:

        dan, i sure hope you don’t ever get to that point and have some one make your comment about you. it’s sad when anyone feels they have no way out and some people don’t care.

      • teddi6 says:

        Wow. Your lack of compassion for the loss of a fellow human being – who was clearly at a critical place in his life, is nothing short of staggering. Dan, may you never experience what this man faced, or experience a time in your life when you feel complete hopelessness or unparalleled loneliness. Emotional confusion is dangerous, as it tends to alienate people from reaching out for help.

        • Mickie says:

          Being a mother of a young 22yr old who committed suicide several years back, you show insight to the turmoil going on inside one at the threshhold of committing suicide. They can appear to be great to everyone and in fact are, but they don’t believe it themselves…to them, it was a facade they built over time due to other’s expectations or their own. Then get to a point of being so overwhelmed that they can never reveal their true feelings or self because it would indeed destroy that very image. The loss of hope that one’s real thoughts, feelings and actions could ever be as good as the facade.

          My empathy and condolences to those who loved him,

  2. tvaddict says:

    Omg I remember him way back on disney! So sad!!!

  3. K. says:

    So sad, I loved him on Rizzoli and Isles! Prayers for his family and friends…

  4. Dani says:

    this is so sad :( RIP

  5. marie says:

    omg it so freaking sad, never saw it coming :*(

  6. is everyone killing themselves these days? such tragedies are heartbreakingly painful to hear about.

  7. D says:

    Wow, just horrible. He was a good actor i really enjoyed him on T.V.

    • robert downs says:

      I totaly agree he brought a balance and funny wit to the show,he made agreat impact on the show and it will be hard to find someone who really showed looks,wit and charm to an already outstanding cast…….lee

  8. mrwiseman says:

    Shocked!

  9. Drew says:

    That is a shame. I was just rewatching The Sarah Connor Chronicles where he appeared, and it made me wonder what he’s been up to lately. I can’t say that I know much (or anything) about the man himself, but he was on a lot of shows that I liked. I guess that’s a good thing to say about an actor.

  10. Samantha says:

    Omg! How sad :( Frost was such a fun character.

    • McAmster says:

      Rizzoli will be lost without Frost. For sure. The dynamic is definitely going to change. Im so very saddened and shocked!

      May he have peace and his family strength!

  11. Kat says:

    so incredibly sad to hear about this.

  12. Wow I’m stunned-condolences to his family,friends and coworkers.

  13. M. says:

    I’m soooo sad.

  14. Esaul says:

    RIP. He was my favorite Disney actor growing up. :(

  15. Melinda says:

    Jet Jackson was one of my favorite show as a kid. This is so sad.

  16. ZmaX says:

    Terrible news. I loved “The Famous Jett Jackson” as a kid, and enjoyed seeing him on Smallville. Though I hadn’t watched R&I i was glad he had consistent work on the series.

    Condolences to family & friends. Suicides should never happen, it’s heartbreaking that some people end up thinking it’s their only option.

  17. This is so incredibly sad to hear. I loved watching him on Rizzoli & Isles. My prayers go to his family, friend and co-workers.

  18. Judy says:

    So very, very sad. He was a sweetheart. Enjoyed him so much for past three years on Rizzoli.

  19. Eric7740 says:

    Unbelievable!!! Loved him on Rizzoli and Isles. I know they will handle his loss well on the show.

  20. Cherry says:

    Such horrible news.
    He was a handsome, very talented actor. I love R&I and ill miss him so much

  21. Sasha says:

    This is unreal! I am at a loss for words. I first saw him on FlashForward and loved him and was so excited when I saw him on Rizzoli and Isles. He was one of my favorites on there. Bright light indeed! He will be missed.

    • Sasha says:

      So they are still filming for this season? This means they will get a chance to give him a proper goodbye this year instead of waiting a year right? I hope.

      • Simon Jester says:

        TMZ reports that it was because he hadn’t shown up for filming this morning that the landlord was called to check on him. :-(

        • JC says:

          That’s so awful. The cast and crew must be in total shock right now.

        • Girl in MD says:

          I believe the epiosodes for the summer shows have all been completed and they were filming the episodes for when they come back on in the late fall/early winter ususally TNT has about 6-8 epioside air at that time. I would think they would plan an episode for then. But as for right now maybe something like a dedication after tomorrow nights episode. This is very sad news I loved him on R&I Frost was a great character. i just read an interview with him not too long ago how excited he was for his tranisition from a child star to an adult star. I never saw this coming my condolences to his family and the cast and crew at Rizolli and Isles.

          • Girl in MD says:

            I feel like tomorrow;s episode will be hard to watch knowing he is gone…..

          • Sasha says:

            Thanks for this. I figured they were wrapping up this current run so I was confused as to what part of the season they were filming. He will truly be missed. I hope he is at peace now.

      • Babygate says:

        Angie or Sasha said on twitter a couple of weeks ago that they would be done filming the season finale by the end of August. So they must be pretty close to having all the episodes in the can. But according to Deadline, the producers are now considering going on hiatus to give the cast and crew time to grieve as well as to give the writers time to figure out how they are going to write him out.

        • Evan says:

          Writing him out (not saying it wouldn’t be emotionally hard) is easy. Killed in line of duty offscreen, Frankie gets the desk.

          None of that takes away from the tragedy in real life.

  22. Steve F. says:

    Whoa. I liked him on The Famous Jett Jackson and Johnny Tsunami (one of the Disney Channel movies). Sad to hear of him taking his own life…

    • Basher says:

      OMG!! Johnny Tsunami!! I loved that movie as a kid hahahaa
      Although he is gone, he will live forever on screen and in the hearts of those who truly love him R.I.P

  23. Angela says:

    So sad to hear this. I loved his character on R&I and it seemed like they were starting to really explore him. RIP

  24. nonniemb says:

    What horrible news. So sad to hear. :(

  25. Kim R says:

    Tragic. So sorry he felt such despair. :(

  26. Elyse says:

    oh no!!! I loved him :(

  27. Roger says:

    Morbid, I was just thinking about where he was in his career after seeing his Jett Jackson Co-star Lindy Booth as Night Bitch in Kick-Ass 2.

  28. Lesley says:

    I actually gasped with shock when I saw this. I loved him on R&I and especially his playful banter with all the characters. So very sad :( RIP Lee !

    • Andrea says:

      I gasped audibly as well. He was terrific on Rizzoli and Isles, and to hear that something caused him to take his own life is profoundly sad.

  29. Nena says:

    I was so shocked to read this!!!! He was a good actor & I loved him on Rizoli & Isles! Prayers for his family & friends!

  30. I grew up watching Famous Jett Jackson and loved him on Rizzoli & Isles. He seemed like he was very grounded in interviews. Such a sad loss.

  31. Zoe says:

    What?! NO! What the hell?! No! …This is awful, awful news. Sending good vibes to his friends and family, and the Rizzoli and Isles fandom. This is truly the terrible loss of a very promising actor.

  32. lynn says:

    omg. I cant believe it. loved him in Rizzoli and isles :( such sad news :(

  33. Ashley says:

    This is insane, terrible, and tragic. I loved him on “The Famous Jett Jackson” and adored his turn on “Rizzoli & Isles” even more. Even with playing such a memorable character as a youth, his transition from child actor to adult actor seemed relatively smooth. My thoughts and prayers are with the people who love him.

  34. JC says:

    That’s awful. His poor family and friends. It’s going to be hard to watch the next few episodes of Rizzoli & Isles.

  35. Shazza (UK) says:

    Such sad news. My daughter and I are huge fans of Rizzoli & Isles, which shows over here in the UK on Alibi channel, and the banter and chemistry between Frost and his colleagues was always a joy to watch. We also remember him from Scrubs, too. So, so sad to hear of his death.

  36. lll says:

    Oh my gosh! I just found out the news. A life that was taken too soon. He will always be cyborg on smallville to me. I adored him as an actor, and this is just shocking.

  37. Cynthia says:

    This is incredibly sad :(

  38. Babygate says:

    Words fail… what is going on? Such a vibrant, charismatic and talented young man. One can only wonder what darkness was lurking inside. The R&I family must be devastated… Prayers for all…

  39. Olivia says:

    I haven’t watched R&I since S2 but damn, that’s sad. Frost was a cool character, and although I don’t know much about the actor it’s still way too young to go. It’s even more sad that he made that decision himself. My heart goes out to his family, friends and co-workers. RIP Lee.

  40. Alichat says:

    Wow……how awful.

  41. Bobbi says:

    OMG! What a tragic waste. I will miss him on Rizzoli & Isles. Such a handsome, talented young man. God bless you……

  42. Liz says:

    Poor Lee. That’s so sad. I was just watching last weeks R&I last night. He was a great actor and just absolutely handsome. He will be missed.

  43. Lorie says:

    Such sad news! Like everyone else, I’m completely stunned.

  44. ishthemish says:

    My heart goes out to his loved ones.

  45. JC says:

    He will be missed on R&I. :( Frost was a character that I really enjoyed. He added a lot to the show.

  46. Scott says:

    I’m sure I speak for all R&I fans when I say I’m saddened and shocked by this news. Such a sad loss to R&I and I know they’ll handle the absence of Det Barry Frost in a sensitive and respectful way because R&I is a very classy show. Condolences to his family, friends and everyone connected with R&I. RIP.

  47. Lisa London says:

    Cyborg! How sad… What a loss.

  48. Maya says:

    I was first introduced to him on Smallville and became a fan. Only I watch R&I on and off but I really enjoyed his character. Such utterly heartbreaking news. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and costars. Such a tragic loss.

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