The Unexpected Loss of Actor Lee Thompson Young
Since a tender age, Lee Thompson Young expressed his desire to be an actor, securing his first acting role at the age of ten to portray Martin Luther King. His acting career escalated in his late teens, when he landed a lead role in the Disney movie The Famous Jett Jackson. He also went on to perform in guest roles in Friday Night Lights and The Guardian before being cast in a lead role in the police procedural drama Rizzoli & Isles. Despite his promise and talent as an actor, Lee Thompson Young met a sudden end when he was discovered dead in his apartment.
Passing at the age of 29, Young was a budding master in many other aspects apart from acting. He graduated from the University of Southern California with honors, and also enjoyed writing screenplays. His most notable screenplay work was a 2007 short film Mano. He also essayed a short role in the film and continued featuring in many hit TV series including Scrubs, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Lincoln Heights, Smallville, The Event, The Good Guys and CSI: NY.
Despite his growing career as an actor, Lee Thompson Young became victim of his bipolar disorder condition and took his own life by shooting himself in the head.
Details of Young’s death
Young did not show up at the filming of Rizzoli & Isles on August 19, 2013 and a well-being check was issued by the local police at his Los Angeles apartment. He was found dead in his home and his manager issued a statement that the young actor committed suicide. After the police ruled out foul play, it was determined that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
The autopsy detailed that he used a handgun and did not leave a suicide note. Young also maintained a regular diary but none of the entries in the book shed any light on the reason for his suicide. The autopsy report also revealed that Young suffered from bipolar disorder and was experiencing severe depression on the days leading to his death. While he was taking medication for the condition, there are no accounts that added a new perspective to his death.
Lee Thompson Young’s funeral and remembrance
On August 23, 2013, he was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery after a three-hour funeral with hundreds of attendees. The attendees included family, friends, co-stars and other well-wishers. The event was held at Hollywood’s Paramount lot where Rizzoli & Isles is taped. Young’s good nature and acting talent did not go amiss as co-star Angie Harmon broke down to tears during her eulogy.
The cast and crew of Rizzoli & Isles as well as the Disney channel issued statements mourning the loss of Young and recounting the deep bond they formed with the budding actor. The funeral also included practices from the West African religion ‘Ifa’ that Young followed. Dancers, dressed in white, performed at the event while his mother blessed the ground. The family also requested the attendees to make contributions to the Young Storytellers Foundation and raise awareness of arts and humanities for unprivileged children.
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