The family of actress Misty Upham confirmed that she is dead, after a body was found in the woods in Seattle, Washington, on Thursday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Upham’s family told The Hollywood Reporter that what was widely suspected was, in fact, true — the body found was that of the 32-year-old August: Osage County and Django Unchained actress and activist.
Upham was first reported missing on October 6 by her family, a day after informing the police that she was suicidal. CBS News reported that Misty’s father, Charles Upham, told KIRO-FM that his daughter was upset and erratic and had stopped taking medication for anxiety and bipolar disorder.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, executive director of Longhouse Media and Seattle-based filmmaker Tracy Rector who is also a long-time friend of Upham’s, stated that it was Misty’s uncle, Robert Upham, who had organized a search party that went looking for the actress and found her body. It was her father, Charles, who confirmed her identity to the authorities.
Though the Frozen River actress was feared suicidal by her father when she had initially gone missing, the family does not believe it was suicide that ended her life.
“The family has stated that, after seeing the body, they still do not feel that Misty Upham committed suicide.” Rector stated.
The cause of Misty’s death has not yet been determined.
As the news of Upham’s passing spread through Hollywood, colleagues and former co-stars offered their condolences and share their shock, including Meryl Streep, Juliette Lewis, and Melissa Leo.
“So so sad to hear this news,” Streep told The Hollywood Reporter. “All our thoughts are with her family and with her beautiful spirit.”
Upham had played Meryl Streep’s caretaker in August: Osage County – which also starred Juliette Lewis, who took to Twitter to share her reaction of her former co-star’s death.
I cant sleep. Too much darkness. I feel so sad about Misty. I know she has more to say. And about how she died. #RIPMistyUpham
— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) October 17, 2014
Melissa Leo, who co-starred with Upham in Frozen River, wrote, “Such a loss… so sad, so so sad. I hope that her talent is remembered more than any troubles we surely will never understand. She was a smart, delightful actor, a spirit wild and hungry. I know I and others are honored to have had Misty in our lives.”
PETA has also released a statement through president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, “The world will be a colder place without Misty’s warm heart, and she will be sorely missed at PETA. She was extremely kind and cared deeply about animals, constantly calling for protection for the bears suffering in roadside zoos on tribal land, a call we will carry forward in her honor. It’s a tragedy whenever anyone dies before their time, but Misty Upham was a friend to us and to animals everywhere.”