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Lee Thompson Young dead at 29

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Photo courtesy of FilmMagic

By Amy Kaufman, Dawn Chmielewski, Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

Former Disney Channel star Lee Thompson Young was found dead Monday morning amid reports that he sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sheree Cohen, who served as Young’s talent agent for many years, confirmed the 29-year-old star’s death. A law enforcement source told The Times that his death appeared to be a suicide.

“It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning,” said Young’s manager, Jonathan Baruch, in a statement issued to the website Deadline. “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.”

PHOTOS: Lee Thompson Young: Career in pictures

Young, a South Carolina native, developed an affinity for acting at age 10 and two years later had secured representation. He rose to fame in 1998 when he starred in the Disney Channel show “The Famous Jett Jackson.” On the program, which ran for three years, the actor played a teenage celebrity trying to live a normal life as a high school student.

The actor went on to attend USC, where he was a recognizable presence on campus, often dressing in all-white ensembles. He attended the School of Cinematic Arts on a full academic scholarship and graduated magna cum laude in 2005.

PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2013

Following graduation, he booked guest-starring roles on various television programs. His next big break came in 2010, when he was cast on TNT‘s popular police drama “Rizzoli & Isles.” As Det. Barry Frost, Young played the affable partner to Jane Rizzoli, played by Angie Harmon.

According to TMZ, Young’s Los Angeles landlord found his body after receiving a call from TNT staff after he failed to show up on set. “Rizzoli & Isles” is in production on its fourth season and had just been renewed for a fifth.

The Disney Channel could not be reached for comment. TNT said it would issue a statement shortly.

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