Rizzoli & Isles is finally getting the chance to say goodbye to one of their own. Actor Lee Thompson Young, who portrayed the character of Detective Barry Frost, committed suicide back in August. At the time he was found in his Los Angeles apartment by police after he failed to show up for filming of Rizzoli & Isles.
Just shy of a year, the TNT show finally has addressed his death. In the first episode, which aired this week, Frost’s co-workers learn that Frost has perished in a car accident.
This coming Tuesday, Frost’s colleagues will get to pay their respects to the detective, as a memorial episode will act as the second episode of the new season. Although the cast filmed the special Rizzoli & Isles episode a while back, actress Sasha Alexander explained that saying goodbye to the character and the actor Lee Thompson Young was very difficult, but important for fans to heal.
Alexander, who plays a medical examiner named Dr. Maura Isles on the show, explained:
“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.”
“His seat remains empty and it’s something that we have had to look at and struggle with from day one of shooting.”
Jan Nash, who signed on to the show when the original show runner left, had the difficult task of deciding how to go about addressing Lee Thompson Young’s death. At the time Nash was pulled on to the show just months after Thompson’s death, and had to decide if Rizzoli & Isles would address the character’s death or just write him off.
Of the difficult time, Alexander praised the new show runner:
“I really do think it was very brave of TNT and Warner Bros. and Jan Nash to embark on handling it head-on. 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.”
Back in October it was revealed that the young actor, who was only 29 at the time of his death, had Lithium and Quetiapine Fumarate tablets in his possession at the time of his suicide.
After word got around of Lee’s death, his publicist released a heartbreaking statement about the former child actor turned television star.
“Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed.”
[Image via TNT]