Lee Thompson Young, Dead Of Self-Inflicted Gunshot. He was 29.

19 Aug

Lee Thompson Young, star of Disney Channel’s late ’90s show The Famous Jett Jackson, has died at age 29.

TMZ reports that Young’s landlord found him dead Monday, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound:

Young currently appears in the TNT show “Rizzoli & Isles” — and we’re told when he didn’t show up to work this morning, staffers called the landlord of Young’s L.A. home to check up on the actor.

Young’s publicist confirmed to TMZ that the actor “tragically took his own life,” calling Young “a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed.”

Young got his start on the Disney Channel at age 14, starring as Jett Jackson in a series and made-for-TV movie from 1998-2001. He later had roles in the 2004 movie Friday Night Lights and the 2009 TV series FlashForward. He appeared in a story arc on Scrubs before landing a regular spot on Rizzoli & Isles in 2010.

Rizzoli & Isles creator Janet Tamaro confirmed the news on Twitter:


We are all without the words to truly express our collective grief and profound sadness at the loss of such a sweet, bright light.

Tamaro later issued a statement with TNT and Warner Bros. on Young’s passing:

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.





17 Responses to “Lee Thompson Young, Dead Of Self-Inflicted Gunshot. He was 29.”

  1. mstoogood4yall August 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM #

    I read about this as soon as I turned on my laptop its so sad. I loved his show I remember watching it when I was 5 or 7. it was one of the few shows that had a positive black family and the black father and son relationship was shown in a good light. It was nice to see a black male play a hero and main character on a show. He was a handsome good actor I still can’t believe it he was young, I wonder what was affecting him.

    • hunglikejesus August 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM #

      I never saw him act or anything. I just knew this could be a learning experience for us, because for some strange reason we as Black people are not supposed to suffer from mental illness. We are the happy-go-lucky people who just laugh and grin and dance and party.

      I think because of this reputation we sometimes act like nothing is the matter. I have talked to so many Black people who have thought about suicide and even attempted it. Have suicide in my very own family and I myself have one attempt. This is more serious than we can imagine.

      I can tell from a few of our short exchanges that you are one of those people that care deeply and don’t speak a lot. A bit isolated, and you stay yourself. I’m not saying that that means anything, but it could mean something. I’m the same way, and I know the thought process. You keep yourself in check sis, and if you feel the need to speak to someone, then please do. Even if that someone is me. It’s just away to stay mentally (somewhat) healthy.

      Remember depression is my muse.

      • mstoogood4yall August 20, 2013 at 3:14 AM #

        Thanks jesus, It is crazy how black ppl are treated different when it comes to mental illness, a brotha was executed last week even though they diagnosed him as schizophrenic. I’ll admit when I was about 13 or 14 and going through family issues my brother would sometimes flip out and break things or pick on me. I was tired of it, I did feel trapped, if I fought back he’d get more angry if I did nothing he still bothered me. One day he was picking on me and I went in my room and was thinking if I wasn’t here he couldn’t mess with me anymore, I got a belt and put it around my neck. I wasn’t planning on doing anything I was just upset and when I was taking it off my neck my mom walked in and the look on her face was of shock. She drove me around and we talked and my dad came home and talked to me too I felt like I had let them down. I felt like I was supposed to be the so called “normal” one and be good and be strong for them, and I had a moment of weakness and didn’t want them to have to worry about me too they had enough on their plate.
        But now i’m good, my brother is right again, he doesn’t bother me or break things anymore, he’s mature. I’m in a better state now because my home life is a lot better. Going through that showed me how easy it is to get to a low point and how its not a lot of resources for the siblings of kids with mental issues. The focus is mostly on the mentally ill child and the other kid/kids sometimes gets left out or forgotten. I went from being the youngest and having attention to having to grow up and deal with a brother who was mentally ill and had to walk on eggshells out of fear of setting him off. I felt like I was blamed for a lot, if I stood up for myself he would get angry and my dad worked a lot and would be like why did u do this or what did u do to set him off. I’ve found my way through it though but I still get emotional thinking about it but not as much as I used to. I guess that is progress.

        • hunglikejesus August 20, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

          Your story is what is supposed to come out of tragedies like this. It is supposed to get people talking, and if people are talking, they ain’t doing something crazy (for the most part).

          Thank you mstoogood, it was really brave of you to let us in a little bit and I bet it felt a little better for you. I don’t have a sibling that would pick on me so that’s where we differ, but only there. I was still picked on day in and day out. I know how isolating that is to a person and how it curves your growth. We could be a lot different people if we had had “normal” lives. Of course we are right where we need to be at this very moment, and the only way we got here is going through the things we went through.

          You have a headstart on most, you’re still young, and you seem to know something about racism/white supremacy. You know, when you know, it’s your duty to tell. You might be able to help someone who is hurting and not able to speak about it. I learned an important thing going through my depression, and that thing is, you get the eye. The eye is being able to spot others who are hurting. I still have it, and now I have the ear.

          Please feel free to share with us or me anything that’s on your mind. I’ll be here to listen, and if you want my personal email address I’ll give that out as well.

          Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story here and leave those belts around your waist.

          • mstoogood4yall August 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM #

            Thank you jesus
            “leave those belts around your waist.”
            lol will do.

            I’m sorry u were picked on as well. It is a little different living with someone who was the bully. I did have one friend during that time that kinda understood as her brother had issues as well and the weird thing was both of our brothers had the same first name. I didn’t invite friends over because of the holes in the walls and the doors my brother broke, except for that one friend,but as we grew older we drifted apart. i was homeschooled and that really allowed me to not be around ppl and not have to worry about having friends who would want to come over and me making an excuse as to why they couldn’t. Now that everything is back to normal and i can have a social life i’m kinda apprehensive and shy.

  2. mary burrell August 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM #

    This is so sad. He was so talented.

    • diaryofanegress August 19, 2013 at 7:02 PM #

      Indeed. I’m always sad when one of us takes our own life.

    • hunglikejesus August 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

      It’s real, very real for a lot of us that think about these things everyday.

      • Gat Turner August 20, 2013 at 1:48 PM #

        Black people are never treated for mental illness. If they did they would find out that racism is responsible for most cases and would then be at a loss as to what to do about it. You know, since we’ve all had to accept that “racism aint going anywhere”.

        I’m hoping that the gay perverted Hollywood machine didn’t get to him but something tells me in light of Raz-B having to move alll the way to China to escape, that it could be the case.

  3. No Black Pete August 20, 2013 at 6:06 PM #

    The story does not add up for me. Where is the proof of a suicide? Who ruled out homocide? And less clear, but not less important, where is the proof of mental illness? Even if he was suffering in any way, that does not make him mentally ill per se.
    I see all the posts come up on this story, but I really do not get it. I do not get why he had to die, and I do not get the reactions to it. I would hate for the sick ones to just be promoting suicide to our children.
    Of course, I wish him well on his further journey. But… the word “fish” comes to mind. I will just wait for people who really knew him to start to protest. Something just ain’t right. Peace.

    • hunglikejesus August 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM #

      Your may have some points, and I may have jumped the gun (please, no pun intended) I only saw an opportunity to speak on a subject that I know intimately.

      Yes, the facts have yet be reached, but the facts of our history have yet to be reached (as far as I’m concerned), but that ain’t gonna stop us from speaking on and hopefully learning something. No harm can come from talking about mental illness, and if he did shoot himself then that is truly mental illness.

      I understand No Black Pete a smart lady and has probably thought it thought it through, but I have seen it with these own eyes and lived it with my very own life. Nobody but me knew that I thought about suicide every single day. And if I would have decided to go through with it then the first words out of my family’s mouth would be “no way would he do that, we need to investigate.”

      I say whatever get’s Black folk talking about possible mental illness should be seized and used for just that. Or do nothing and hope for the best, much like how we do it now.


      • No Black Pete August 21, 2013 at 8:38 AM #

        Clearly, I do not mind other people sharing on their ordeals. It is just that the reporting got me worried for Black children and teens – maybe even adults -reading it. It is not just the jumping to conclusions, but also the matter of fact stating of those conclusions. If a successful Black man reportedly commits suicide, then what of the less successful men or boys? It becomes an even more real opt-out in their minds. And as you said, once it is in your mind, it is hard to get it out, if at all.
        If this actor was acting his way through life, then someone knows about it. I am yet to hear of someone ending his life who did not try to get attention elsewise first. Including you. It does take someone to understand, to be able to read the signs correctly. I will not go into it, as I do not know your plight. And it is yours to share.

    • Kushite Prince August 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM #

      Yeah this is really sad. He seemed to have his whole life ahead of him. It looked like he had everything going for him. It really is a tragedy. But I understand your concern. It does seem a bit strange. Why didn’t he leave a suicide note? I thought that was a bit odd.

  4. mary burrell August 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM #

    No Black Pete, brings up some excellent points. It’s very sketchy. I feel after some weeks have passed we will know the real truth about what happened. I feel there is just a lot of conjuncture, and no real facts.

    • hunglikejesus August 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

      I think so weeks will pass and the story will be just as it is. Black people don’t have that kind of advocacy to change the nastiness of a story that fast. If it ain’t true, it won’t come out for some time now. If it does comes out to be some kinda foul play then I’ll of course retractions and give an apology to anyone whom I offended.

      Thank you Ms. Mary for stopping by and you too No Black Pete, I didn’t mean to leave you out.

  5. mary burrell August 20, 2013 at 6:40 PM #


  6. mstoogood4yall August 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM #

    mary and no black pete bring up some good points. either way this is still a conversation to be had about mental illness in our community. Idk if it is foul play or not, i will have to wait for the autopsy results if there is an autopsy being conducted. and find out where he was shot. And i wonder if someone got worried about him and asked his landlord to check on him or if his landlord just went in. I wonder if his neighbors heard anything or saw anyone else. SO many questions and hardly any answers. Maybe his family will come forward and say what they think happened or if they suspect anything. It is a waiting game for now.

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