NORTH HOLLYWOOD—Lee Thompson Young, former star of the Disney Channel series “The Famous Jett Jackson,” was found dead in his North Hollywood apartment on Monday, August 19. He was 29.
Reports state that the young actor was found dead of an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was discovered by his landlord after he failed to report to the set of TNT's “Rizzoli and Isles.” Young had been in the past four seasons of the drama as a supporting character.
“It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning,” said Jonathan Baruch, Young's long-time manager, in a statement. “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.”
Young first began acting in community theater in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina before traveling to New York in 1996 to commence his professional calling. His career took off when he landed the role of the titular hero in the Disney Channel series. “Jett Jackson” managed to run for 65 episodes, and the actor got to work with numerous popular figures at the time, including Britney Spears and Destiny's Child. After the obligatory accompanying television film, Young continued to act in numerous other films and television shows. He appeared in the films “Friday Night Lights” (2004) and “Akeelah and The Bee” (2006) while also performing on the television shows “FlashForward,” “Scrubs,” and “Smallville”.
An honors graduate from USC School of Cinematic Arts, Young was an avid photographer and a martial arts practitioner, training in both Wun Hop Kuen Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; he also strongly supported the Children's Defense Fund. Young managed to successfully transition from child actor to adult actor when numerous of his fellow peers could not.
“It’s always a really great feeling when I talk to people who watched Jett Jackson because we were the same age. We were all kids. I was 13 when I started working on that show and that was part of my childhood. And It’s kind of like we have that in common,” he told EW.com in 2011.
“It means a lot to me when people enjoyed it and when it was a part of their childhood. It’s cool when you see people revert back for a quick second to middle school, and they’re like, ”˜Oh, man! I remember”¦’ It’s really great to me that our work is still with people after ten years.”
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