The Bar Pours a Sip for Lee Thompson Young

Actor Lee Thompson Young has died of an apparent suicide.  He was 29. Here, he is shown arriving at the premiere of 'Friday Night Lights' in 2004.
Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young was found dead from a suicide.

The actor, who headlined The Famous Jett Jackson (1998-2001) and most recently appeared as Detective Barry Frost on TNT's Rizzoli & Isles, was found dead at his home in Los Angeles on Monday morning. He was 29.

Los Angeles police officer Sally Madera told the Associated Press that police were sent to the home to check on Young after he failed to show up for filming Monday morning.

The actor's manager, Jonathan Baruch, confirms that Young took his own life.

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

And TNT said, in a statement: "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."
OMG...kill me now.


  1. I know, I watch that show sometimes and liked seeing a nice, clean cut young black man (his character is like their computer whiz) on a nice show.
    And in real life, this young man was an honors grad from USC.
    God bless his family and this makes me think about how as black people we need to remove the stigma around mental illnesses and treatment. B/c i don't know his health but we know he was experiencing something to end his life when he was so young and was so successful.
    Apparently he also was a screenwriter and was writing something with...oh, name escapes me, another young black actor.

    1. Columbus Short was his writing partner. They had written/were writing a screenplay that I think they were trying to get made. Harrison from Scandal.

  2. Something is wrong with these Disney kids. There was a former child casting director convicted for molesting kids. I wonder if that is why so many of these child stars do not survive.

    Loved him, thought he was talented and handsome. I was pissed when his character on FlashForward committed suicide. This is just heartbreaking.

    1. What is awful is that this guy wasn't a "troubled" former child star. He had a lot of talents and had gotten a good education. It doesn't sound like he was an addict or anything else. He just sounds like an unfortunate victim of mental health issues, either chronic or situational depression.
      I'd rather NOT lump him in with people whose lives become trainwrecks b/c of fame and wealth.

    2. Seriously! He wasn't in the tabloids, no drug problem we knew about, no accusations of violence from his significant others - nothing! He had a fairly decent career for a black actor his age - why the hell did this happen????

    3. Well, I'm going to blame the stigma against mental illness and seeking help beyond prayer even among well-insured black people.
      So for example, my mother was asking me today if psychiatrists made "good money." Sister is a doctor, not a shrink, and I went to med school for two years. Parents grew up poor but managed to stay upper middle class throughout their careers, and are now comfortably retired and insured. So I wouldn't think that they'd be so sheltered from certain things, but my mom proved me wrong today.
      I said, it all depends on their client base, how large their practice is, where they work, etc. She says "oh you mean like in insane asylums?" So yes, my mom apparently thinks that psychiatrists only deal with "insane" people in "asylums." In 2013.
      And I had to say, no mom, it is not 1850 or 1950 and mental hospitals are not for "insane" people, nor do most people see psychiatrists in the context of a severe breakdown that has them confined.
      I can say that many people in my family have needed to go see a therapist for either temporary or permanent problems and despite having the means to do so, none ever has, b/c they think that you are either "Crazy" or not and that neuropharmacological drugs just keep people "doped up."
      So I can easily how how a young black man of means who is struggling inside would not go see a doctor to get counseling, therapy, and medication. And we have to bring in the burden of the common stereotype of black masculinity.
      This is all speculation but my point is that "healthy" people don't kill themselves, so I don't need to know his medical history to infer that if everything in his professional and personal life was otherwise in order, what was happening inside him was NOT. I think a young black celebrity would not need to be A-list if he was a troublemaker. So he seems like he was a good guy.
      My friend had a sorority sister who much like this guy was amazing in all other parts of her life. A real trailblazer in research and academia...rising star lauded for her work. And she committed suicide at the age of 30. She too had mental health issues that she never got treated for and that were somewhat masked by her intelligence and career and academic success(I remember her being described as "moody" and a little "special" at times).
      We should remember that what we see on the outside frequently tells us little about what is going on inside and I think many people are able to "pass" as being healthy when they are not.
      I have a former friend (b/c her untreated illness resulted in her doing things-on the sly until another friend found out that were damaging to me personally. It became "unsafe" to have her in my life). But like both of these young people she is intelligent and charismatic and is able to "pass" and keep good jobs although eventually her illness results in her doing something that gets her fired or has her impulsively quitting. I hope she survives and that her internal struggles do not lead her to this same fate.

    4. THIS.

      Poor guy...

  3. He didn't seem like he had any problems, but I guess you never know what is going on in someone's mind. I watch R&I and loved his character. Its really sad and shocking.

    1. I was just about to get back into R&I for him!!!!

    2. I'll still watch it because I enjoyed the program, but it won't be the same without. I just wonder what is going on with all these young people who think that killing yourself is the answer. They never consider ALL the people that it will affect. Heartbreaking.

    3. If this was a result of depression than the thought process you are describing is not there. A brain that is struggling with depression or bipolar disorder or any other mental illness is not rational, and I think we do people who have these illnesses a disservice by acting like they have any more control over them than, for example, a cancer patient would.
      This is a lifelong battle for some, a temporary battle for others, but without medical treatment you will NOT make it.

    4. Yes, THIS. I'm tired of people who are judgmental of people comminting suicide. Most people don't want to know why they kill themselves though, they want to hold on their own views saying that suicide is easy and lame.

    5. Perla Buttons8/24/13, 4:08 AM

      I just started watching R & I. It's a good show for unwinding after a late work shift - I've started to invest in the characters. This just makes me so sad. I hope his family and friends find some semblance of peace and comfort in time.

      Thank you Nicthommi and Myra for your words. I could weigh in as a person with long term, damn near cyclical major depression and anxiety, but I'm picking my battles. Plus, I'm emotionally worn out after going to a pro-refugee protest today.

  4. Good question. It's like there is something in the air or some curse that grips Disney . If they do survive, they have some sort of problem whether mental, emotional or financial. It's sad what happened to Lee. If there was a limit to the age to when a person have to die I would say that he was too young for that to have that happen to him.

  5. Asada Says:


    Darn Darn Darn!

    This is the only person who made me stop and watch a Disney movie. The only one who had me thinking of a young Will Smith- FUN, Smart, funny and nice.

    Made me realize I do not see a lot of him around- or anyone like him.

    I don't wanna know what happened...I just cant.

  6. Dear gods, why?

    I had so much hope for LTY - with his smooth vibe and beautiful eyes. When I say the headline on BrothaWolf's blog I assumed he was referring to his character, Al Gough, committing suicide on FF. I was still in denial even as a Googled to find out just WTF happened.

    Why is he dead? This is one of the ones that's really going to fuck with me for a while. This was the man. This was a beautiful, beautiful man.

  7. This broke my heart. At first I thought my grandma was talking about Flash Forward too, or that his character in Rizzoli and Isles committed suicide and I was about to curse the writers out. God how I wish that was the case instead of what's reality.

    I used to watch Disney just to see The Famous Jett Jackson and crushed on him HARD. I was always excited to see him in things as he grew into adulthood because he really was a talented actor who seemed like an absolute sweetheart in real life. I hate that he didn't receive more roles and recognition before he ended his life. He was such a beautiful person with a probably equally beautiful soul.

  8. Hollywood must have done something sinister to child stars to make them grow up and become self-destructive. We've seen it with the cast of Diff'rent Strokes, Maculay Culkin, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cirus, etc.

    1. I don't think he is the same as them though (with the exception of Britney who I think had mental health issues). Everyone else had problems that I would think relate to fame. I don't think a person who isn't an addict, hasn't hit rock bottom, and stays out of trouble does this if they aren't struggling with some stuff that goes WAY beyond having money and fame.
      All of the people you mentioned had dysfucntional families and parents (Gary Coleman, Lindsey Lohan, and Maculay Culkin being great examples of this). Miley seems to fall into the too much too soon category and perhaps having a stage parent (even though he was pretty successful as a country singer I think).
      This guy's biography seems like he wasn't plagued with a bad family or addictions.
      B/c you know, a lot of people who otherwise seem to have nice lives kill themselves. I think this is a great time to shine a spotlight on depression.

    2. I was watching an interview with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and he was told that people have noticed that he, Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), & Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) have not gotten into any visible trouble. When asked why that was he said that the difference between British society & American society is that in Britain, you are a child first and an actor second. In America, you are an actor first and a child second. That spoke volumes. Granted, he admitted to becoming an alcoholic due to fame, but he kept it under wraps.

    3. Well, I think that it all depends on your parents. Some people manage to survive bad parenting (and as someone who was raised around a lot of wealthy people who had the same kind of access to everything as celebrities I've seen this play out. People with effed up parents who are disciplined enough to stay out of trouble and still be something productive).
      Ron Howard is a generation older than the current stable of celebrity child star trainwrecks but child stars from the 50's and 60's have a pretty bad track record as well(if you ever watched Family Affair, look up what happened to the actress who played Buffy).
      If you want to learn about why some kids flame out and others don't, watch an interview with Ron Howard about how his parents treated him even though he was a star from the time he could read.
      I saw him tell a story about being on the Andy Griffith Show and he did something out of line and his father took him right there and spanked him. He said Andy Griffith even said, "well, you know you earned that" or something along those lines. And he treated him like the child he was, not like some special snowflake who could act a fool with no consequences.
      No one in his life acted like the fact that he was a star and earned more than his parents meant that he could do as he pleased. I think his dad worked and didn't become his "agent" or any nonsense like that. The kids who flamed out if you look at their biographies had parents who were unable (see Patty Duke whose mother was I think mentally ill and signed her over to people who unfortunately abused her) or unwilling (see Drew Barrymore) to properly raise them. Drew Barrymore's mother was too interested in using her daughter to get into the parties herself, and there are pictures of her looking pretty toasted when she wasn't even 10 years old.
      He also talked about how his parents made him go to regular, public school, and he had a period where people were teasing him and calling him Opie and again, his dad was like, deal with it, it is not that much to deal with.
      At no point did his parents stop acting like parents.
      If your parents are too busy pulling over your money (MacCauley Culkin) to raise you, you will likely flame out. If they continue to be parents and support themselves and put your money in a trust fund but make you go to school and college, you'll be fine, and we see good examples of this (Kim Fields and the Mowry twins are all college graduates). Even despite her questionably mature film roles, Brooke Shields was sent to good schools and graduated from Princeton and was not sleeping around or doing drugs or drinking.
      It's not a British vs US cultural phenomenon. It is about having adults in your life who are solid and who don't let your paycheck cloud their judgement. They don't let you shack up and go clubbing b/c you are a 14 or 15 year old millionaire. They don't ignore your obvious problems b/c they are grabbing at the spotlight for themselves (Lindsay Lohan).
      But I will say for the umpteenth time, none of this means anything if you are suffering from a mental illness.

    4. @ Nicthommi,

      Excellent points regarding the parents. They do play a tremendous role in the upbringing and outcome of a child life. And yes, mental illness plays a major role in all of this.

  9. The irony is, LTY & Adetomiwa Edun reminded me of each other.

  10. His soul can't even properly rest in peace:

    1. Lol no comments on the "yoruba is a religion" comment O.o?

    2. Leo Princess8/25/13, 11:53 AM

      *kmt* F*cking E! News. Even after they were corrected, they kept up with the misinformation for hits. Just proves that some people don't care - at all.

  11. So I personally know LTY's mom, Dr. Love. She teaches at my almator . All I could think about when hearing the news was how Dr. Love was doing and why did it come to this. In the theatre project p, we always had guest speakers and sometimes famous guest speakers which LTY did do and he talked about how hard it can for an actor without a good support system and people who have your best interest at heart, so it just makes me wonder what happened.

    I seriously think that people do need to go to counseling, therapy, a shrink, etc so that whatever is eating you up inside doesn't end up consuming you resulting in a downward spiral or suicide.

    1. I hope his mother is doing well.

      I'm still in denial about this. It all sounds like some horrible mistake.


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