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|Born||December 19, 1974
|Died||26 October 2015
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Samuel "Sam" Osei Sarpong, Jr. (December 19, 1974 – 26 October 2015) was a British actor, super-model, and musician. He performed in over sixty feature films, and fifty-five television shows, including such films as Carmen The Hip Hopera, Love Don't Cost a Thing, Keeping Up with the Steins, Anchor Baby and No Weapons, for which he won best lead actor at the San Diego Film Festival. He was also the host on MTV's Yo Momma. for three seasons. He was one of the first black male models for designer Tommy Hilfiger and was the face of the brand for over six years.
Sam Sarpong was born in London and moved to Los Angeles with his father, Sam Sarpong Sr. who is a native of Ghana, when he was 11 years old. He attended El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California, where he was a basketball star. When his father moved to Pasadena, Sarpong lived with a friend's family so he could continue attending El Camino Real. When his aspirations for a college and professional basketball career proved unsuccessful, he turned to acting and modeling. He was the brother of the British television presenter June Sarpong.
Sarpong died on 26 October 2015 at the age of 40 after jumping off a bridge in Pasadena, California. His death was ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, pending an autopsy.
Sarpong was a co-host of MTV’s show Yo Momma, and had since gone on to serve as the host of the BET Awards pre-show All Access, for seven years. At the 2013 BET Awards, he presented the "Best International Artist" category.
Sarpong starred as Paul Unanga in the film Anchor Baby and won Best Lead Actor for this role at the 2012 New York Film Festival. He also guest-starred in "Lord of the Bling", an episode of Veronica Mars.
Sarpong was a fashion editorial magazine campaign for the brand Louis Vuitton, a recipient of the MAA Fashion Award for Male Model of the Year, and twice named by Today's Black Woman magazine on their "Fifty Most Beautiful People" list. He was added to Us Weekly′s "Hot 100 Young Hollywood with Style" list in 2007.
- Eric Sondheimer (July 9, 1997). "SARPONG FINDING HIS NICHES; FORMER ECR-HOOP STAR IS ACTOR, DANCER, RAPPER, TALK-SHOW HOST.(SPORTS) - Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)". Daily News (Los Angeles, CA). HighBeam Research. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Actor Sam Sarpong is a perfect role model." The News Letter, 5 August 2005 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Tim Engle, "Singing, acting, modeling: Sam Sarpong is on the verge of something big", Kansas City Star, 24 May 2008 (pay site).
- Fernando Dominguez, "Running the Fast Break Again : Two Years Out of High School, Sarpong Homes In on Show-Business Career", Los Angeles Times, 2 July 1995.
- Eric Sondheimer, "Sarpong Finding His Niches; Former ECR-Hoop Star Is Actor, Dancer, Rapper, Talk-Show Host", Los Angeles Daily News, 9 July 1997 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- "Please do not disturb; Lazy days: TV presenter June soaks up the sun at Le Touessrok." Daily Mail, 28 May 2008 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- "Sam Sarpong Dies: Tommy Hilfiger Model, Yo Momma Host, Actor Dead of Apparent Suicide at 40". Us Weekly. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Stedman, Alex (28 October 2015). "Sam Sarpong, Co-Host of MTV's 'Yo Momma,' Dies at 40". Variety. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- Albert Benefo Buabeng, "10 facts about the late Sam Sarpong", Pulse.com.gh, 29 October 2015.
- 22 October 2012 - Supermodel Sam Sarpong Launches Limited Edition T-Shirt Collection by iVogue Sponsored by Mirani Motors on Diversity News Magazine
- J.T. (March 1996). Look: Actor Sam Sarpong. Vibe Media Group. p. 114. Retrieved 28 October 2015.