Justin Pierce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the member of the Arizona House of Representatives, see Justin Pierce (politician).
Justin Charles Pierce
Born Justin Charles Pierce
(1975-03-21)March 21, 1975
London, England
Died July 10, 2000(2000-07-10) (aged 25)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nationality British
Occupation Actor, skateboarder
Years active 1995–2000
Known for Kids
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Spouse(s) Gina Rizzo (m. 1999–2000)

Justin Charles Pierce (March 21, 1975 – July 10, 2000) was a British actor and skateboarder who grew up in the US. He is best known for his roles as Casper in the 1995 film Kids and as Roach in the 2000 film Next Friday. On July 10, 2000, Pierce committed suicide in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pierce was born in London, England to a Welsh mother and an Australian father, Pierce was brought up in the Marble Hill section of New York City. Pierce's mother and adoptive father divorced when he was 15.[2]

After his parents' divorce, he began stealing cigarettes and food and skipping school in favor of skateboarding. Pierce soon quit school and moved out, staying in a "warren of rooms" in a basement of a building on 176th street, that was "teeming" with fellow skaters. Pierce was later arrested for the possession of marijuana and heroin under his pants in a police road search.[2][3]


While skateboarding in Washington Square Park, Pierce was discovered by film director Larry Clark, who cast him in his controversial 1995 film Kids.[2] After the success of Kids, Pierce won an Independent Spirit Award for his portrayal of Casper, the profane and drug-addicted skateboarder friend of Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick), and relocated to Los Angeles.[2]

He would go on to appear in the 1997 film A Brother's Kiss as the young Nick Chinlund. Pierce also appeared in television movies including 1997's First Time Felon, and the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. He also starred alongside Ice Cube and Mike Epps in the film Next Friday as Roach. Pierce's last on screen appearance was in the 2002 film Looking for Leonard, which was released after his death. The film was dedicated to his memory.

Personal life[edit]

In 1999, Pierce married stylist Gina Rizzo in Las Vegas, Nevada.[2] He had two pit bull dogs, Isis and Mr. Jones.


On July 10, 2000, Pierce was discovered hanging in his room at the Bellagio Hotel by hotel security. His death was determined to be a suicide.[1][4][5] The following day, a Catholic memorial service for Pierce was held at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Manhattan's Little Italy.[2]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Kids Casper
1997 A Brother's Kiss Young Lex
1997 First Time Felon Eddie Television film
1998 Wild Horses Rookie Alternative title: Lunch Time Special
1998 Myth America
1998 Freak Weather Pizza Guy
1998 Zoo York Mix Tape Justin Pierce
1999 Too Pure Leo
1999 Out in Fifty Freddy
1999 Pigeonholed Devon
1999 The Big Tease Skateboard Kid
2000 This Is How the World Ends Zombie Television film
2000 Next Friday Roach
2000 Malcolm in the Middle Justin 2 episodes
2000 King of the Jungle Lil' Mafia
2000 BlackMale Luther Wright Alternative title: Blackmail
2002 Looking for Leonard Chevy Released posthumously


Year Award Category Title of work Result
1996 Independent Spirit Awards Best Debut Performance Kids Won


  1. ^ a b "Justin Pierce, 25; Starred in 'Kids'". The New York Times. 2000-07-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Davis, Peter (October 1, 2000). "Justin Pierce: The Lost Boy". papermag.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ "‘Kids,’ Then and Now". New York Times. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Justin Pierce". Yahoo!. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "Where Are They Now? The Cast of Kids". Unreality Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 

External links[edit]