Child star Austin Majors has reportedly died at the age of 27.
Majors — known for playing Theo Sipowicz, the son of Detective Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz, on ABC’s “NYPD Blue” — passed away while staying in a Los Angeles homeless housing facility on Saturday, according to TMZ.
His cause of death is unclear. A source told the outlet that although foul play was not suspected to be involved, Majors might have “ingested a fatal amount of fentanyl.”
Majors was expected to undergo an autopsy on Monday to determine if there was anything in his system at the time of death, according to the insider.
The family issued a statement on his death, telling TMZ that Majors, “was a loving, artistic, brilliant and kind human being. Austin took great joy and pride in his acting career. He was an active Eagle Scout and graduated Salutatorian in high school. He went on to graduate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a passion of directing and music producing.
“Austin’s younger sister, Kali, says her fondest memories with Austin were growing up on set with him, volunteering at events with ‘Kids With a Cause’ and backpacking together,” the statement continued. “Austin was the kind of son, brother, grandson and nephew that made us proud and we will miss him deeply forever.”
He was awarded the Young Artist Award for best performance in a TV series (comedy or drama) – young actor age ten or under in 2002.
Actor Franz called him a “joy to work with” in a testament posted on Majors’ website.
“He never has lost his enthusiasm to be on the set,” Franz’s sentiment read. “He just loves coming to work. He thinks of this as his playground and all of us as his older playmates! It is Austin Majors Day when he is here, he runs the show. But when he hears his cue, he gets a twinkle in his eye and he is ready to work.“
In addition to his role in “NYPD Blue,” he nabbed guest parts in series including “Desperate Housewives” “NCIS,” “ER,” “Providence,” “According to Jim” and “American Dad!” He also appeared in the 2007 Lifetime movie “An Accidental Christmas,” and his final TV role was in a 2009 episode of “How I Met Your Mother.”
Majors’ part on “NYPD Blue” once stirred up controversy after his character walked in on a naked Det. Connie McDowell — played by Charlotte Ross — in an episode.
The scene resulted in a $1.4 million fine leveled at ABC from the Federal Communication Commission.