Next week, “Rizzoli & Isles” will lay to rest the character played by the late Lee Thompson Young.
The 29-year-old actor was found dead in his North Hollywood home last August of an apparent suicide. He played police Detective Barry Frost on the TNT crime drama. In the first episode of the new season, which aired this week, Frost’s colleagues get the news that he has been in a car accident.
On next Tuesday’s episode (9 p.m. EDT), they learn Frost has died.
Although the episode was difficult to shoot, said Sasha Alexander, who plays medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, she hopes it will help fans grieve and begin to heal.
“I hope that people who knew him and adored him and loved him on the show will enjoy it and be able to move through it with us,” the 41-year-old actress told the AP.
“Rizzoli & Isles” also stars Angie Harmon as police Detective Jane Rizzoli.
Jan Nash signed on as the new show runner just months after Young’s death, and had the difficult task of deciding how to proceed with the new season.
“I really do think it was very brave of TNT and Warner Bros. and Jan Nash to embark on handling it head-on,” Alexander said. “They might have been like ‘I can’t deal with this. I don’t know how to handle this,’ but they didn’t. They went for it and everyone just embraced it and I think that was really just to show our love for him.”
Alexander said Young’s absence is felt on the set.
“They have not replaced him and don’t intend to do so anytime soon,” she said. “So his seat remains empty and it’s something that we have had to look at and struggle with from day one of shooting.”
1. Adrian Robinson Jr. - 25 years oldSource:AP 1 of 21
2. Don Cornelius - 76 years old2 of 21
3. Chris Lighty - 44 years old.3 of 21
4. Junior Seau - 43 years old4 of 21
5. Phylis Hyman - 45 years old5 of 21
6. Christine Chubbuck - 29 years old6 of 21
7. Lee Thompson Young - 29 years old7 of 21
8. Nick Santino - 47 years old8 of 21
9. Paul Williams - 34 years old9 of 21
10. Roy Raymond - 46 years old10 of 21
11. Donny Hathaway - 33 years old11 of 21
12. Kenny McKinley - 23 years old12 of 21
13. Rob Pilatus - 32 years old13 of 21
14. Freddy E - 22 years old14 of 21
15. Jovan Belcher - 25 years old15 of 21
16. Millicent Lilian "Peg" Entwistle - 24 years old16 of 21
17. Freddie Prinze - 22 years old17 of 21
18. Moses Khumalo - 27 years old18 of 21
19. Albert Ayler - 34 years old19 of 21
20. Smiley Culture - 48 years old20 of 21
21. Nicky Thomas - 41 years old21 of 21
Celebs React to Lee Thompson Young's Death Via Twitter
1. Tia Mowry: "My heart goes out to Lee Thompson Young RIP.. These child stars are leaving us too soon! My heart is aching…"1 of 17
2. Columbus Short: "My heart is broken today. RIP to my dear friend and brother Lee Thompson Young. Writing partner/Friend/Brother. #HeartAche...I'm going to make sure the world sees and knows what an amazing writer and visionary Lee Young was. I'm going to make our movie. #NoMatterWhat."2 of 17
3. Gabrielle Union: "I had the pleasure of working w/#LeeThompsonYoung on Flash Forward & he was an extremely talented beautiful soul. My thoughts & prayers are with his loved ones #RIP"3 of 17
4. Michael Ealy: "SAD SAD NEWS. RIP Lee Thompson Young. 29 and so much promise. Lift up his family today. Stunned right now."4 of 17
5. Amber Riley: "Man...RIP #LeeThompsonYoung #Jett Jackson...Everything that glitters isn't gold. You just never know, that just tore me up a little. Man..."5 of 17
6. Lauren London: "So sad to hear about Lee Thompson Young. He was such a good guy with a great heart. May he have peace. Prayers all around."6 of 17
7. Donald Faison: "This breaks my heart. RIP Lee Thompson Young"7 of 17
8. Solange: "Very very sad to hear about Lee Thompson Young. He was always very kind, and such a light."8 of 17
9. KeKe Palmer: "I have no words to say. I honestly am speechless to the recent passing of my old friend Lee Thompson Young."9 of 17
10. Jackee Harry: "My Thoughts & Prayers Go Out To The Family And Friends Of Lee Thompson Young. #GoneWayTooSoon"10 of 17
11. Meagan Good: “My Lee .. My friend .. My dear Friend .. I love you man .. My heart Is so broken .. You are remarkable ..you are incredible .. Light and beauty .. So humble and gentle .. Loving and sweet .. Serious and thoughtful lol ..it’s like you were always in touch with something so transcending -that others couldn’t even begin to touch it or identify it .. you lived in that space .. You were such a Special and beautifully different kind of being .. a original .. Im thinking about all the silly times lol …the random adventures of you, me and @mrtyhodges.. Teenagers then young adults on a constant mission … a brilliant mind .. a gorgeous spirit .. I’ll miss you .. Alot .. You loved me enough to fearlessly remind me of my worth .. Thank you .. I pray you Peace … And everlasting Love wrapped up in Our Fathers Arms ..I love you always and always my Brother.”11 of 17
12. Raven Symone: Raven Sumone: “You were talented and amazing! Watch over us! Love you Lee! #ohthelifewelive. Amazing man! Great talent, my childhood! Blessings, and safe journey!”12 of 17
13. Nicole Ari Parker: "My heart is broken"13 of 17
14. Don Lemon: “So sad. Lee Thompson #RIP.”14 of 17
15. Ava Duvernay: “Lee Thompson Young. Worked with him during “Jett Jackson.” Lovely young brother. Heavy heart today. Peace be with him the rest of the way.”15 of 17
16. Tamera Mowry: "..So young. So sad R.I.P"16 of 17
17. Wes Craven: "My sympathy to the family of Lee Thompson Young and to all those who knew and loved him...I had the pleasure of working with him in 2007 on Hills Have Eyes 2. He was a pro, gifted and warm. The tragedy of this kind of loss is particularly bewildering and painful."17 of 17