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Lee Thompson Young

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Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young.jpg
Screenshot of Young in film, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)
Born (1984-02-01)February 1, 1984
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Died August 19, 2013(2013-08-19) (aged 29)
Los Angeles, California
Resting place Lakeview Memorial Gardens
York, South Carolina
Occupation Actor
Years active 1998–2013

Lee Thompson Young (February 1, 1984 – August 19, 2013) was an American actor. He was known for his teenage role as the title character on the Disney Channel television series The Famous Jett Jackson (1998–2001) and as Chris Comer in the movie Friday Night Lights (2004). His last starring role was as Boston police detective Barry Frost on the TNT police drama series Rizzoli & Isles (2010–14).

Early life

Young was born in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Velma (née Love) and Tommy Scott Young.[1][2] He was in the second grade when his parents' marriage ended, and he went to live with his mother. At age ten, he portrayed Martin Luther King in a play called A Night of Stars and Dreams by Dwight Woods, and the Phillis Wheatley Repertory Theater of Greenville, South Carolina.[3] It was then that Young decided he wanted to become an actor. After doing community theater for a while, he traveled to New York during the spring break of 1996 and secured an agent.[citation needed]


Young moved to New York City in June 1996, but it was not until the next year that he auditioned for the part of Jett Jackson in The Famous Jett Jackson. He filmed the pilot and found out in June 1998 from the Disney Channel that the show had been picked up; it later went on to become a Disney Channel Original Movie in June 2001. Young also starred in Johnny Tsunami (1999), another Disney Channel Original Movie, as Sam Sterling. The movie was successful, but he did not reprise the role in the sequel, Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board (2007).

After the cancellation of The Famous Jett Jackson, Young had guest spots in the CBS series The Guardian. He also had a part in the movie Friday Night Lights (2004), portraying Chris Comer, and a part in the Jamie Foxx movie Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004). Lee appeared on UPN's TV drama series South Beach, and he portrayed Victor Stone (known in DC Comics as Cyborg) in a fifth season episode of the television series Smallville, in 2006; which character he reprised in the Season Six episode "Justice" (airdate January 18, 2007), and again in the Season Nine finale "Salvation" (airdate May 14, 2010).

Young appeared in the feature film Akeelah and the Bee (2006), playing Akeelah's brother Devon. He played National Guard rookie, Delmar, in The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007). In 2009, Young played a cocky surgical intern in the hit comedy show Scrubs. It is revealed that his character was an overweight child. The character becomes involved in a romance with one of the medical interns.

Young played the role of Al Gough, an FBI agent, in the ABC television drama FlashForward. He was written off the show in episode 7, when his character committed suicide to prevent the death of an innocent civilian. His last acting role was playing Barry Frost, partner of Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) on the TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles, and he made an appearance on the Fox drama The Good Guys as the brother and business partner of an arms dealer.

Young also starred in the Sugababes video for their 2009 single "About a Girl".

Personal life

Young graduated with Honors from the University of Southern California, where he majored in Cinematic Arts and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Young enjoyed writing and wrote the screenplay for the 2007 short film Mano.[4]


On August 19, 2013, Young failed to show up for filming an episode of Rizzoli & Isles.[5] Police were called to do a well-being check on him at his Los Angeles apartment, where he was found dead.[1] His manager stated that the actor committed suicide.[6][7] Police confirmed that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[8] Young had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for which he had been taking medication, and had been suffering from depression before his death.[9]

After funeral services at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Young was interred at Lakeview Memorial Garden, York, South Carolina.[10] A three-hour memorial service was held on the Paramount Studios lot.[11]

Young's family launched the Lee Thompson Young Foundation in an effort to help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Friday Night Lights Chris Comer
2006 Akeelah and the Bee Devon Anderson
2007 Hills Have Eyes 2, TheThe Hills Have Eyes 2 Delmar
2007 Mano Machito Short film
2010 Bastard Passenger 1 Short film
2012 Just an American Curtiss Jackson
Year Title Role Notes
1998–2001 Famous Jett Jackson, TheThe Famous Jett Jackson Jett Jackson / Silverstone Lead role, 65 episodes
1999 Johnny Tsunami Sam Sterling TV movie
2001 Jett Jackson: The Movie Jett Jackson / Silverstone TV movie
2002 Philly Steven Hicks Episode: "There's No Business Like No Business"
2002 Guardian, TheThe Guardian Levi Mooney Recurring role, 5 episodes
2003 Jake 2.0 Prince Malik Namir Episode: "The Prince and the Revolution"
2003 The Jersey Himself Episode: "Origins: Part 2"
2004 Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story Charles Becnel TV movie
2004 Proud Family, TheThe Proud Family Teen Bebe (voice) Episode: "Twins to Tweens"
2004–05 Xiaolin Showdown Jermaine (voice) 2 episodes
2005 Kevin Hill Levi Episode: "Homeland Insecurity"
2006 South Beach Alex Bauer Recurring role, 5 episodes
2006–07, 2010 Smallville Victor Stone/Cyborg 3 episodes
2008 Five Year Plan Mutabi TV movie
2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Agent Stewart Episode: "Heavy Metal"
2009 Scrubs Derek 3 episodes
2009 Lincoln Heights Julian Episode: "Bully for You"
2009–10 FlashForward Al Gough Recurring role, 8 episodes
2010 Good Guys, TheThe Good Guys Eric Williams Episode: "Small Rooms"
2010–14 Rizzoli & Isles Det. Barry Frost Main role, 56 episodes
2010 Event, TheThe Event Corporal Bell Episodes: "Inostranka", "And Then There Were More"
2012 CSI: NY Kelvin Moore Episode: "Unwrapped"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Drama or Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor The Famous Jett Jackson Nominated
2000 Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor Nominated
2001 Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actor Nominated
Gemini Award Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series Nominated
2013 NAMIC Vision Award Best Performance - Drama Rizzoli & Isles Nominated


  1. ^ a b Holleman, Joey (August 19, 2013). "Columbia native turned TV star takes own life". The State. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Lee Thompson Young Biography (1984-)". Film Reference. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Lee Thompson Young: Brilliant young actor and a gentle soul". The Sydney Morning Herald. August 20, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ "''Mano'' (2008), a film by Brad Tiemann". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Elber, Lynn (August 19, 2013). "Actor Lee Thompson Young found dead at age 29". The Las Vegas Sun. 
  6. ^ "LEE THOMPSON YOUNG Ex-Disney Superstar Dead SUICIDE". TMZ. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Freydkin, Donna (August 19, 2013). "Lee Thompson Young found dead". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ Woo, Kelly (August 19, 2013). "Former Disney Channel Star Lee Thompson Young Found Dead". Yahoo!. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ Nancy Dillon (October 8, 2013). "Lee Thompson Young suffered from bipolar disorder before suicide: coroner's report". The New York Daily News. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Zach (September 4, 2013). "Lee Thompson Young's Death Certificate Released, Suicide Confirmed". E!. 
  11. ^ Lee Thompson Young Memorial Held, Angie Harmon in Tears at Service for Rizzoli & Isles Costar | E! Online UK
  12. ^ "Family breaks silence on actor Lee Thompson Young's suicide". Franklin Media and WISTV. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 

External links