Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Lee Thompson Young

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Famous For:
The Famous Jett Jackson, Rizzoli & Isles, Friday Night Lights
Networth:
$250,000
Currently Known For:
Deceased
Famous Years:
1998 - 2013
Birthdate:
February 1, 1984
Lee Thompson Young


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  Famous For:
The Famous Jett Jackson, Rizzoli & Isles, Friday Night Lights

  Networth:
$250,000

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The Disney Channel has produced a lot of eventual big stars over time, especially when it came to the late 1990s when they were churning them out left and right. Among them was Lee Thompson Young, an actor that went on to appear on multiple television shows and successful movies following his time with the network. Sadly, just months before his 30th birthday, Young took his own life, leaving pretty much everyone that met him along the way saddened and wondering why and how this could happen.Advertisements:


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Young was born on February 1, 1984 in Columbia, South Carolina and almost immediately had gotten into acting. He appeared on stage for the first time in 1994 and experienced a rush that caused him to believe that he could make a career out of acting. With that, Young decided to move to where he could find professional acting opportunities in New York City. After a year of searching for the right role, Young tried out for what would be a great stepping stone for his career on the Disney Channel.

That very first role for Young came as the title character on the series “The Famous Jett Jackson”. The series was a big hit for the Disney Channel, and Young played the role for all 65 episodes over four seasons, as well as a television movie based on the character at the end of the show’s run. During this time, Young also appeared in the Disney Channel original movie “Johnny Tsunami”. “It’s always a really great feeling when I talk to people who watched ‘Jett Jackson’ because we were the same age,” he said of his time with the character. “We were all kids. I was 13 when I started working on that show, and that was part of my childhood.”

After “The Famous Jett Jackson” came to an end in 2001, Young had a recurring role on the CBS drama series “The Guardian” while also making several other guest appearances on other programs. In 2004, Young had his big screen debut in the football film “Friday Night Lights”, and followed that up two years later with “Akeelah and the Bee” and then another year later with the horror flick “The Hills Have Eyes 2”. Afterward, Young had just a handful of film roles (mostly short movies) with his final role being 2012’s “Just an American”.

Young had focused more on television in these years. He had another recurring role playing the superhero Cyborg on the Superman focused series “Smallville”. After a couple of television movies and guest appearances on shows like “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Lincoln Heights”, Young had recurring spots on the shows “FlashForward” and “Scrubs”.

Another main role for Young had finally come his way in 2010 when he was cast as detective Barry Frost on the series “Rizzoli & Isles” where Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander played the title characters. Young had been part of the main cast from the start, while also having guest appearances on the shows “The Event” and “CSI: New York”.

The cast of “Rizzoli & Isles” had still included Young in the summer of 2013. They were set to film an episode of the series on an August morning, but Young didn’t show up to the set. The police and his manager were contacted in hopes that he was simply running late, but the news was grim. When the police arrived at his apartment, Young was sadly found dead at just 29 years old.

Young’s representation told the press that the actor had taken his own life with a gun, and had been dealing with mental health issues in the years that led up to his suicide. It was shocking news for many, including the cast and his many fans. Young was then laid to rest in his home state of South Carolina with a foundation of mental health support and awareness being set up in his honor.

Many had issued their condolences, including the many people that worked with Young throughout his career. Director Wes Craven said that Young “was a pro, gifted and warm,” adding that “The tragedy of this kind of loss is particularly bewildering and painful.” Former co-star Gabrielle Union added that Young “was an extremely talented beautiful soul.”

A few years following his death, Young’s family finally spoke out about him. “He would just kind of seek out wherever he could get an audience,” his mother Velma Love said. “And he would perform. He would tell stories. He would do poetry. He would do speeches.” She added that “In his late teenage years, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I noticed some periods of sadness and that stabilized quickly. Some of a person’s inner life, you don’t really know.”

Talking about his death, Love said that “We really don’t know those answers (as to why he did it) and there’s really no way to know.” His sister, Tamu Lewis, said of the foundation that “I do feel like having someone like Lee impacted by (mental illness) and it being in the news and that sort. It sort of kind of makes it ookay. People know that Lee wasn’t the only one. And for them to see everything he accomplished in the 29 years, it’s more than some people accomplish in their whole lives. He was able to do that with a mental illness and, yes, it ended tragically, but through that we’re inspired.”

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