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Notable deaths: Actor Lee Thompson Young, chair designer Charles Pollock

Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young, who began his acting career as the teenage star of the Disney Channel’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” and was featured in the film “Friday Night Lights” and the series “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead Monday at his home in North Holly­wood, Calif., police said. He was 29.

There was no official cause of death, but Mr. Young’s manager, Paul Baruch, said the actor committed suicide.

Mr. Young’s body was found after he failed to show up for work on “Rizzoli & Isles.” In the TNT crime dramas, Mr. Young played a ­computer-savvy but squeamish police detective. Earlier Monday, the channel announced it was renewing the series, which stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

According to a biography from TNT, Mr. Young was inspired to pursue acting when, at age, 10, he played Martin Luther King Jr. in a play in Mr. Young’s hometown of Columbia, S.C.

In 1998, Mr. Young began starring in “The Famous Jett Jackson,” playing a TV action hero who returns to his roots for a less high-profile life. The series ran until 2001.

Mr. Young followed it with roles in “The Guardian,” “Scrubs,” “Smallville” and other TV series and in the films “Akeelah and the Bee” and “The Hills Have Eyes II.” He joined “Rizzoli & Isles” when it debuted in 2010.

Charles Pollock
chair designer

Charles Pollock, the designer of the Pollock Executive Chair that became ubiquitous in offices in the mid-20th century, died Tuesday. He was 83.

Police said Mr. Pollock was declared dead at the scene of a fire in his Queens home. The cause was under investigation.

Mr. Pollock was raised in Michigan and came to New York to attend the Pratt Institute. He introduced his chair in 1963. Set on rolling wheels, the chair was visually distinctive because of the aluminum band that went around its edges. It is still in production.

In the decades that followed, Mr. Pollock moved away from furniture design. He returned to it recently, after being sought out by Jerry Helling of Bernhardt Design. Mr. Pollock created a lounge chair that was introduced in 2012.

Dixie Evans
burlesque performer

Dixie Evans, a burlesque performer who in later years ran a striptease museum in the Southern California desert, died Aug. 3 in Las Vegas. She was 86.

Her biographer, Lynn Sally, confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause.

Born Mary Lee Evans, she was working in celery fields near Los Angeles when she answered an ad for Hollywood chorus girls. That led to modeling jobs and to burlesque, where she had an act imitating Marilyn Monroe.

She later founded a museum that featured Sally Rand’s fans and lingerie from Gypsy Rose Lee. It moved to Las Vegas in 2006 and is now called the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Ms. Evans also started the Miss Exotic World burlesque pageant, which is still going.

Beatrice Kozera
intimate of Jack Kerouac

Beatrice Kozera, the Los ­Angeles-born woman whose fleeting relationship with novelist Jack Kerouac was chronicled in “On the Road,” died Thursday in Lakewood, Calif. She was 92.

A family friend, Tim Hernandez, confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause.

Ms. Kozera learned only a few years ago that her 15-day relationship with Kerouac in the farmworker labor camps of Selma in 1947 was featured in his celebrated Beat Generation novel (as “Terry, the Mexican girl”) and eventually a movie, Hernandez said.

Hernandez tracked down Ms. Kozera while he was researching her story for a book. He said he interviewed her several times after finding letters and a postcard she had written to Kerouac at the New York Public Library. He showed them to her relatives, who recognized the handwriting.

“As far as she was concerned, she was a normal, ordinary person who at one point in her life met a man,” Hernandez said. “She never knew that this gentleman Kerouac ever became anything.”

Ms. Kozera spent most of her early years following her farmworker family in California’s fields and eventually settled in Fresno, Calif.

— From wire services

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