The Washington Post

‘Rizzoli & Isles,’ ‘Famous Jett Jackson’ actor Lee Thompson Young dead at 29

Actor Lee Thompson Young, known for his roles in the television series “Rizzoli & Isles” and “The Famous Jett Jackson,” was found dead in his home in California on Monday. According to his manager, Young, 29, took his own life. The actor’s credits also included “Scrubs” and “Friday Night Lights.” Los Angeles authorities did not offer any information about the cause of his death:

Young’s body was found at his North Hollywood home by police Monday morning after he failed to show up for work on TNT’s crime drama “Rizzoli & Isles,” police Officer Sally Madera said. The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned and pronounced him dead at the scene, she said.

LAPD robbery-homicide detectives and the Los Angeles County coroner office were investigating because it is a high-profile death, she said. Madera had no details about the cause of death.

In the TNT series, Young played fledgling police Detective Barry Frost, who’s computer savvy but squeamish. Earlier Monday, the channel announced it was renewing the series that stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

Associated Press

According to E! Online and other news reports, TNT has temporarily suspended production of “Rizzoli & Isles.” Washington Post critic Hank Stuever was unimpressed by the show when it first aired in 2010:

As for “Rizzoli & Isles,” it isn’t brilliant television, but everyone in it seems to be giving it their all -- even the corpses. It’s drawn from a series of crime novels by Tess Gerritsen, where the hard-crusted, soft-centered Rizzoli (that sounds like a dessert!) forms a symbiotic friendship with the calm, encyclopedia-brained Isles. While Rizzoli fumes and fumbles out in the field, Isles meticulously Quincies back at the morgue. While Rizzoli wears hoodies and a ponytail, Isles is always decked out in stilettos. As Rizzoli, Harmon, a long-ago “Law and Order” player, attacks her part with intense crabbiness, which all but obliterates any acting that Alexander, who was on “NCIS,” might have had in mind.

After a wealthy couple is murdered, Rizzoli’s off to the state pen to play Hannibal-and-Clarice interrogatory games with a serial killer, on the hunch that he’s trained an apprentice. There’s a hunky FBI agent who shows up to investigate the case, and he distracts Rizzoli and Isles not only from their jobs but from the faintly lesbian undertones that the show keeps trying to establish. Will it be Rizzoli or Isles who captures Agent Hunky’s attention? “Somebody should, don’t you think?” Rizzoli asks.

“Should we draw straws?” Isles counters.

“Can’t we just show him our [breasts] and let him decide?” Rizzoli says.

“Can’t someone put a sheet over me?” asks the corpse. “I shouldn’t have to watch this.”

Hank Stuever

See other celebrities who have passed away recently in the gallery below.

Max Ehrenfreund writes for Wonkblog and compiles Wonkbook, a daily policy newsletter. You can subscribe here. Before joining The Washington Post, Ehrenfreund wrote for the Washington Monthly and The Sacramento Bee.
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