Sad news to come out of New York today as word has just been released that troubled actor Leo O’Brien has died at the age of 41. O’Brien, who was known as playing the little brother to character Bruce Leroy in the cult classic The Last Dragon was said to be resurrecting his acting career after a few failed starts.
As of right now the cause of O’Brien’s death has not been released. An autopsy was also inconclusive and the medical examiner is waiting on toxicology results, which usually takes weeks. A friend of Leo O’Brien and former cast mate Taimak Guarriello only offered up one statement about the actor’s well being, “He’s been having a little problem,” said Guarriello. “He’s been through a lot of tough times,” the cast mate added.
Leo O’Brien was trying desperately to put his past behind him after being shot three times in Harlem in 2011 after a dispute with an acquaintance. At the time O’Brien spoke with the Daily News about how he planned to turn his life around after surviving the shooting, having said, “I’m a fast healer — kind of a mutant. I’ve been told if this happened to someone else, they’d be dead.”
In The Last Dragon O’Brien played the charismatic, joyful, little brother of Bruce Leroy and watched him conquer the world of martial arts. After hearing about his shooting, Taimak reconnected with O’Brien in the last year of his life and rekindled that easy going friendship the two had while on set. After a long time spent in jail, O’Brien owned a string of businesses.
About the film that still resonates with an audience Guarriello said, “This is a movie that touched a lot of hearts and he was wonderful in it. think people should remember him as the talent that he was.” The actor added, “He was a sweetheart and he had a good sense of humor.”
Leo is survived by his son Drew, who mourned the death of his father on Facebook by writing a message, “R.I.P to my father Leo Obrien. You will be dearly missed. I love you.”
Do you remember The Last Dragon?