Who was Lee Thompson Young?
Lee Thompson Young was an American actor who is remembered for playing the titular character in Disney Channel’s series ‘The Famous Jett Jackson’ as well as the role of Chris Comer in the 2004 flick ‘Friday Night Lights’. His last acting role was as the police detective Barry Frost in TNT’s police drama ‘Rizzoli & Isles’. Interested in acting from a very early age, he began working as a little boy. At the age of ten, he portrayed Martin Luther King in the play ‘A Night of Stars and Dreams,’ following which he decided to pursue acting as a profession. Besides acting, he enjoyed writing. He was an avid photographer as well and loved discovering new places. He was also a trained martial artist. Young, who was quite passionate about children and education, was a keen supporter of the Children's Defense Fund. Although he was an individual who liked spreading happiness around him, he was not happy with his own life. After years of struggling with clinical depression and bipolar disorder, Young committed suicide in August 2013.
Lee Thompson Young’s professional acting career began in 1998 with the lead role of Jett Jackson in the American-Canadian series ‘The Famous Jett Jackson’. The following year, he starred as Sam Sterling in the Disney Channel original movie called ‘Johnny Tsunami’. In 2002, he had a guest spot on CBS’ drama series ‘The Guardian’. Two years later, the actor featured in the sports drama flick ‘Friday Night Lights’ as well as in the TV film ‘Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story’.
In 2004-05, Young had a voice role in the series ‘Xiaolin Showdown’. In 2006, he appeared in a few episodes of ‘South Beach’ and ‘Smallville’ and also played Devon Anderson in the drama flick ‘Akeelah and the Bee’. The actor was then cast as Delmar in the horror movie ‘The Hills Have Eyes 2’.
In 2009, he guest-starred in three episodes of the medical comedy drama series ‘Scrubs’. Young also began playing Al Gough in ‘FlashForward’ the same year. After this, he joined the cast of the police drama ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ as Detective Barry Frost in 2010. Around this period, he also made guest appearances in the short film ‘Bastard’ as well as in the series ‘The Event’. Young was also a screenwriter and wrote the screenplay for the short movie ‘Mano’ that was released in 2007.
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Family & Personal Life
Lee Thompson Young was born on February 1, 1984 in Columbia, South Carolina, USA to Tommy Scott Young and Velma Elaine. His parents separated when he was in the second grade, following which he went to reside with his mother. Young majored in Cinematic Arts from University of Southern California.
On August 19, 2013, Lee Thompson Young didn’t show up at the set of ‘Rizzoli & Isles.’ The police later checked his Los Angeles residence, where he was found dead. The cause of his death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was later revealed that the actor had been suffering from bipolar disorder and depression before his death.
He was interred at the Lakeview Memorial Garden in South Carolina. His family launched the Lee Thompson Young Foundation in his memory. The goal of the foundation is to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.