Getty Images
Getty Images

Lee Thompson Young Suffered from Bipolar Disorder before His Death — a Look Back at the Tragedy

Edduin Carvajal
Sep 24, 2020
12:15 P.M.

Late actor Lee Thompson Young, best known as Jett Jackson in the Disney Channel show "The Famous Jett Jackson," struggled with bipolar disorder before taking his own life.


Born in February 1984, Young got involved in acting from a very young age. At the age of ten, he took the role of Dr. Martin Luther King in a play titled "A Night of Stars and Dreams."

[Young was] diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his late teenage years.

Lee Thompson Young on October 06, 2004 in in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images

Lee Thompson Young on October 06, 2004 in in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images


It was after that production that the young actor decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. For a few years, Young worked in community theater. However, in 1996, he moved to New York and found himself an agent.

Several months later, he auditioned for (and landed the role of) the title character in "The Famous Jett Jackson." The show aired between 1998 and 2001, and it brought Young some recognition in the film business.

Lee Thompson Young on August 27, 2005 in Miami Beach, Florida | Photo: Getty Images

Lee Thompson Young on August 27, 2005 in Miami Beach, Florida | Photo: Getty Images

After that, he was cast as Alex Bauer in "South Beach," Derek in "Scrubs," and Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg in "Smallville." Nowadays, actor Ray Fisher is portraying Cyborg in the DC Extended Universe.

While Lee Thompson Young is best known for "The Famous Jett Jackson," he had a long and successful run in the TNT police drama show "Rizzoli & Isles." He portrayed Barry Frost for almost four years (several episodes were posthumously released in 2014).



Unfortunately, the former Disney star was found dead in his home in Los Angeles on August 19, 2013. As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, he was expected to be on the set of "Rizzoli & Isles" on August 19, but he didn't show up.

Consequently, police were called to do a wellbeing check on him at his North Hollywood apartment, and that's when they found him dead. The passing of the 29-year-old actor was ruled a suicide.


Following Young's death, TNT, Warner Bros, and the show's executive producer Janet Tamaro released a joint statement lamenting the events. The statement read:

"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."

Tamaro also admitted to being heartbroken for Young's loss, even describing him as a "sweet, gentle, good-hearted, [and] intelligent" man who was one of the members of their family.


Disney Channel released a statement, as well, extending their condolences to Young's loved ones and fans and confessing that they could not adequately express their sadness.


A couple of months after Lee Thompson Young's death, it was revealed that he was suffering from (and taking medication for) bipolar disorder, as well as depression, at the time of his passing.


Investigators found traces of his medicine (Lithium and Quetiapine Fumarate) in his blood. Apart from that, they didn't find any evidence of alcohol, opiates, or other drugs in his system.

Only five days before taking his own life, Young spoke with his doctor for the last time and appeared to be okay, the New York Daily News reported.

His doctor pointed out that he was not aware of any financial issues or suicidal threats. The late actor didn't leave a suicide note.



Years after his passing, Young's mother explained that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his late teenage years, when she started noticing periods of sadness that used to stabilize quickly.

His sister Tamu Lewis also revealed that Young used to call her and say that he was feeling "a little sad again," but that he managed to recover quickly from it.


Following Young's death, his family launched the Lee Thompson Young Foundation as a way to try to help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness, as well as to advance holistic health treatment and improve the lives of people impacted with them.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

Related posts

Why This 'Star Wars' Child Actor Disappeared from Hollywood for over 20 Years

June 20, 2024

Janelle & Kody Brown’s Son Welcomed a New Addition to the Family before Passing Away at 25 — His Final Post

March 07, 2024

Ryan O'Neal's 4 Kids: Two Were Raised with 'No Food', While One Became Oscar-Winner

April 30, 2024

How Michael Jackson Would Look without Plastic Surgery before His Passing At 50: Photo via AI

May 02, 2024

John Travolta Turns 70: Inside His Life after Death of His Girlfriend and Wife of 28 Years

February 21, 2024

'The Dukes of Hazzard's Catherine Bach Raised 2 Kids after Her Husband Died – Meet Her Grown-up Children

May 30, 2024

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Actor Richard Lewis Dies at Home – Cause of Death Revealed

March 04, 2024

‘Sister Wives’ Star Kody Brown’s Son Garrison Found Dead at 25: Why Are People Blaming the Father?

March 06, 2024

‘Sister Wives’ Star Janelle Brown’s Son’s Last Texts before He Was Found Dead: Details

March 07, 2024

Glimpse inside Kody & Janelle Brown’s Son’s Arizona House Where He Died at 25 — Photos

March 07, 2024

Ryan O’Neal Still Had Farrah Fawcett’s Portrait above His Bed — Pics of His Life in Home Where He Lived with 2 Dogs

April 29, 2024

'Sister Wives' Janelle Brown, 54, Disclosed Skin Cancer Scare a Day before Son Died at 25

March 06, 2024

Colin Farrell Is the Father of Two Sons, One of Whom Has 'Special Needs' — A Look at Him as a Dad

May 01, 2024

What Happened to Morgan Freeman's Granddaughter, Who Suddenly Died at 33?

May 29, 2024