The cast of ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ obviously mourned heavily in August 2013 when their co-star Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life, but the show itself wasn’t able to address the young actor’s death until last night, June 24, on the second episode of the fifth season. Watch a clip from Lee’s character’s funeral below and tell us if you think ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ handled his death the right way.
Lee Thompson Young, who got his start as the star of Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson, tragically committed suicide in August 2013 as his show Rizzoli & Isles was filming the penultimate episode of their fourth season. Lee’s character, Barry Frost, was written out the season four finale and sadly killed by a car accident in the season five premiere. So finally, on the second episode of the fifth season on June 24, Angie Harmon and the rest of the Rizzoli & Isles cast were able to pay their respects to Barry, and by proxy, Lee.
Lee Thompson Young’s Suicide Addressed On ‘Rizzoli & Isles’
After Barry died in a car accident in the season five premiere, this episode was fully dedicated to his funeral and the other characters’ mourning.
At the funeral, while a heart-wrenching slideshow of happy pictures of Lee ran, Rizzoli (played by Angie) gave a eulogy that was for Barry, but that could’ve also been for Lee. “I will miss that infectious smile, and the joy that he brought to every day,” Rizzoli, who was Barry’s partner, somberly said. “Death may have taken Barry, but it can’t take our memories of him, those wonderful and perfect and beautiful memories. Those, thank God, are ours to keep.”
‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Showrunner: We Were ‘Honoring Lee’s Memory’
Rizzoli spent most of the episode trying to avoid the death of her partner, but at the very end when she saw a picture of him, she couldn’t help but break down in tears and let it all out. It was a cathartic experience for anyone who watches Rizzoli & Isles or loved Lee’s other work, and we’re sure it felt the same way for everyone involved on the TNT show. The characters said goodbye to Barry, but everyone else said goodbye to Lee.
“We had one simple principle, which was to make sure that we were honoring Lee and the character of Barry Frost,” Rizzoli & Isles showrunner Jan Nash told Slate. “If the people who loved Lee chose to see it, they would feel that we were honoring his memory.”
So HollywoodLifers, do you agree? Did Rizzoli & Isles respectfully handle Lee’s death and honor him the right way? Watch a clip from the funeral below and let us know.
WATCH: Barry Frost’s Funeral On ‘Rizzoli & Isles’
— Andrew Gruttadaro