Bert Belasco has died. According to TMZ, the actor — known for BET's Let's Stay Together — was found dead in a hotel room Sunday. According to a statement from Belasco's father, the late actor was in Richmond, Virginia, preparing for a new movie role.
"While the circumstances of his death are unclear, we do know Bert's girlfriend couldn't get a hold of him and eventually asked hotel staff to check on him. We're told when he was discovered, there was blood on the sheets," TMZ reported.
The family is awaiting the results of an autopsy, according to the report; Bert Belasco Sr. reportedly believes his son's cause of death to be a fatal aneurysm.
Belasco got his start in acting while studying for a degree in theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, according to IMDB. Before graduating from the university in 2005, the talented performer would have starring roles in several of the school's productions. Some of the notable plays he appeared in were Home, The Greenbird and Parade. Following his graduation, Belasco continued to work in stage acting at the Second City Theatre in Chicago. He also spent time at the TVI Actors Studio Summer Institute in Los Angeles and participated in a master class with instructor David Aulicino.
While his career onscreen began with made-for-TV movies and minor roles on television series including House, M.D. and Justified, the piece of work from Belasco's early career that is most familiar to the public is a Super Bowl commercial from 2010. The Snickers advertisement featured beloved actress Betty White playing football with some friends. Belasco played the role of a man who addresses a visibly upset White.
"Mike, you're playing like Betty White today," he told his friend.
He then handed "Mike" a Snickers. The ad was ranked as the No. 1 commercial of the 2010 Super Bowl by the USA Today Ad Meter Poll.
After beginning his career with minor roles, Belasco got his big break in 2011 when he joined the cast of BET's romantic comedy Let's Stay Together. In the series, whose title references the Al Green song of the same name, he played Charles Whitmore, a contractor engaged to Stacy Lawrence, portrayed by Nadine Ellis. The couple had an intense romance but over time were forced to navigate the valleys and peaks that come with modern relationships. The cast also included Joyful Drake, RonReaco Lee and Erica Hubbard.
The show enjoyed early success and was renewed for a 22-episode second season following a well-received Season 1 finale. For Season 2, actress Kyla Pratt -- best known for roles on The Proud Family, One on One and Dr. Doolittle -- joined the cast. Let's Stay Together would be approved for third and fourth seasons before it was ultimately canceled in September 2014.
Following the end of Let's Stay Together, Belasco went on to act in several television series. Between 2016 and 2017, he starred on FOX's Pitch, and between 2017 and 2018 appeared in Showtime's I'm Dying Up Here. He also had roles in the Lifetime series American Princess and the 2017 film WTF: World Thumbwrestling Federation.