UPDATE, 12:25 PM: Production on TNT’s hit drama Rizzoli & Isles has been shut down in light of the sudden passing of co-star Lee Thompson Young, whose body was discovered in his apartment after he failed to show up for work this morning. The producers of the series, in which Thompson played star Angie Harmon’s partner on the force, are currently evaluating whether to resume production tomorrow or go on hiatus while the cast and crew cope with Young’s death and writers figure out how to write off his character. Here is TNT, Rizzoli & Isles‘ studio Warner Bros TV and executive producer Janet Tamaro’s statement today on Young’s death: “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.”
PREVIOUS 11:30 AM: Rizzoli & Isles co-star Lee Thompson Young has died in apparent suicide. He was 29. “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning”, said Young’s long-time manager Jonathan Baruch. “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 played Detective Barry Frost on TNT’s flagship drama Rizzoli & Isles, which was just renewed for a fifth season. He started his acting career early as the lead of Disney Channel’s first original series, The Famous Jett Jackson, executive produced/directed by Shawn Levy. “I am stunned and truly saddened by the news of Lee’s passing,” Levy said. “I met Lee when he was 13 years old. He came in and auditioned for the pilot of Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson. I can still vividly recall the dynamism and presence of this golden kid, who came in so full of talent and confidence and light. I spent several years working with Lee on our series, during which time we collaborated closely and began our careers. Lee was an amazing actor, an incredible, driven athlete, a voracious student, both in school and out, a loving and loyal son and a great and treasured friend to me and the many other people whose lives he entered. There’s no telling what great things he would have accomplished, onscreen and off, and it’s heartbreaking that now we will never know.” Disney Channel also weighed in on Young’s death. “Nothing any of us can say will adequately express our sadness over Lee’s untimely passing — our thoughts are with his loved ones and the many fans of his work,” a spokesperson said. The South Carolina-born Young also co-starred on UPN’s South Beach and recurred on FlashForward, Scrubs and Smallville. His feature credits include Friday Night Lights, Akeelah And The Bee and The Hills Have Eyes 2.
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