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August 25, 2013

RIP - Lee Thompson Young (Rizzoli & Isles)

Detective Frost at the computer, where he was so often
It's a real tragedy when somebody as young as 29 years old dies, and even more of one when it's self-inflicted. When it's somebody you welcome into your home on a weekly basis for thirteen weeks or so a year, it hits even a little bit harder.

I was watching a recording of the latest Rizzoli & Isles episode this morning. After enjoying yet another well-made episode, I was looking around the Net and stumbled upon an article noting that the funeral for Lee Thompson Young (who played Detective Frost so brilliantly) had died a number of days ago of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

To say this made me sad is an understatement.

It just seems so senseless from the outside looking in like we all are. It seems that these people have a very good life, with a great job and wonderful co-workers (it sounds like it's a very close cast, with Angie Harmon breaking down in tears as she was speaking at his service). How could somebody so young who apparently had it made do something like this to himself?

But we can't know what demons are haunting these people on our television screens, lurking in the background. I read somewhere that he had been suffering from depression. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, it's certainly one explanation.

Whatever the case may be, a great show has been robbed of one of its great actors, and fans of the show will miss the gentle humour and warmth that Young brought to the Frost character. His grin was infectious, and one of my favourite parts of a recent episode was when Frost and Frankie Rizzoli (Jane's brother and another detective) were looking through an eccentric old man's stuff looking for why somebody would try and kill him. They were finding a lot of neat memorabilia and happened upon an EMP gun. And then when they set it off, they blew out all of the circuits on the police cars that were around the crime scene.

Their giddiness as they went through all of this stuff was hilarious but also quite touching.

It was that gentle soul, the man who would get sick at the sight of blood yet soldier on in the Homicide unit, the guy who kept a robot action figure on his desk, that Young brought so much heart to.

I didn't know Young as a "real" person; I only saw him on my screen. But my heart still goes out to him and those who actually did know him.

My condolences go to Young's family and colleagues, as well as to the fans who will miss him as the series goes on without him.

May you be in a happier place, Mr. Young.


  1. I know what you mean. I was shocked when I found out.


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