'Rizzoli and Isles' Halts Production in Light of Lee Thompson Young's Tragic Death
"Rizzoli & Isles" has suspended production of its currently airing fourth season in the wake of Lee Thompson Young's apparent suicide. The show takes a temporary break, but it's not clear how long the production will be shut down.
Meanwhile, the latest episode of the police procedural series, which also stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, has been dedicated to the late actor. At the end of the August 20 outing, a memorial card which read, "In Loving Memory of Lee Thompson Young, 1984 - 2013," was shown onscreen. It's followed by silent footage of Young in character as Detective Barry Frost.
Young, who is also known for his roles on Disney's series "The Famous Jett Jackson" and 2004's movie "Friday Night Lights", starred on the TNT show since the pilot. The 29-year-old was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Los Angeles apartment after he failed to show up for the filming of "Rizzoli & Isles" on Monday.
The show's executive producer Janet Tamaro said in a statement, "Everyone at [the show] is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family... We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother."
Words are, the actor had suffered from depression for some time leading up to his apparent suicide. A source tells E! News that Young "was always the first to tell everyone to take a breath and enjoy the beauty of life," but he "really changed" a few years ago after he began practicing Yoruba, an Africa-based religion.
Though the religion has a saying, "iku ya j'esin," which means "death is preferable to ignominy," Yoruba culture icon and Chief Priest of Osogbo, Araba Ifayemi Osundagbonu Elebuibon, once said the religion "[does] not support suicide. Their belief is that if somebody commits suicide, they will be punished in the hereafter."
A source, however, says Young "took [his religion] to the next level and started wearing white all of the time." Another source says the "FlashForward" star's close friends no longer lived in L.A., leaving him surrounded mostly by "industry types."
"Rizzoli & Isles" memorial card for Lee Thompson Young:
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