Actor Lee Thompson Young found dead
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, police said. He was 29.
There was no official cause of death, but Young’s manager, Paul Baruch, said the actor “tragically took his own life.”
“Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends at this very difficult time,” Baruch said in a statement.
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’s 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.
“We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. ... Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace,” TNT, studio Warner Bros. and series producer Janet Tamaro said in a joint statement.
Cops: Man found dead at Newton-John’s home
Authorities say a man has been found dead from a gunshot wound inside a South Florida home owned by singer Olivia Newton-John and her husband.
Jupiter police Sgt. Scott Pascarella said Monday that the victim is a 42-year-old man who didn’t live there and wasn’t related to the residents. Pascarella says the victim had permission to be at the home but wasn’t staying there.
Initial media reports listed the death as a suicide, but Pascarella said it’s classified as a death investigation. He didn’t say whether foul play was involved.
The Palm Beach Post reports construction was being done on the home.
No other details were released. Calls to the singer’s agent and manager weren’t immediately returned.
The singer’s hits include “You’re The One That I Want,” with John Travolta from the 1978 movie “Grease.”
Author-critic Albert Murray dead at 97
Albert Murray, the influential novelist and critic who celebrated black culture, scorned black separatism and once was praised by Duke Ellington as the “unsquarest man I know,” died Sunday. He was 97.
Murray died at home in his sleep, according to Lewis Jones, a family friend and Murray’s guardian.
Few authors so forcefully bridged the worlds of words and music. Like his old friend and intellectual ally Ralph Ellison, Murray believed that blues and jazz were not primitive sounds, but sophisticated art, finding kinships among Ellington and Louis Armstrong and novelists such as Thomas Mann and Ernest Hemingway.
He argued his case in a series of autobiographical novels, a nonfiction narrative (“South to a Very Old Place”), an acclaimed history of music (“Stomping the Blues”) and several books of criticism. Although slowed by back trouble, Murray continued to write well into his 80s and also helped Wynton Marsalis and others stage the acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts. Millions of television viewers came to know him as a featured commentator in Ken Burns’ documentary series “Jazz.”