Days after child star Austin Majors‘ death, his former NYPD Blue costar Dennis Franz has released a statement.
Majors first appeared on the ABC police drama in 1999, when he was only three years old. He played Theo Sipowicz, the son of Franz’s character, Det. Andy Sipowicz, until 2004.
“I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Austin’s passing,” Franz said in a statement, per Deadline. “Austin was always such a joy to have on the set. He brought smiles and happiness to everyone.”
Franz added that some of his “favorite scenes” during his “12 years on NYPD Blue are with Sipowicz and Theo,” before recalling, “Every day that Austin worked, I would greet him with a special song, ‘It’s Austin Major’s Day’ sung to the tune of ‘Howdy Doody Time.’”
Franz continued, “Although we haven’t stayed in touch since the show ended in 2005, I will always remember him fondly. My love and condolences to his family.”
Following his time on NYPD Blue, which earned him a Young Artists Award for Best Performance in a Television Series, Majors, who graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, went on to make appearances in shows like NCIS, Desperate Housewives, and According to Jim. His most recent professional credit was in 2009, when he guest-starred on How I Met Your Mother.
Majors, who was 27 when he died, was reportedly living in a Los Angeles homeless shelter at the time of his death on Saturday, Feb. 11. While no official cause of death has been determined, sources allege he may have overdosed on fentanyl.
The actor’s sister, Kali Majors-Raglin, remembered her brother as a “loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being.”
She added that he “took great joy and pride in his acting career,” before later saying, “Austin was the kind of son, brother, grandson, and nephew that made us proud and we will miss him deeply forever.”
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