Hollywood was saddened last month by the passing of former child star Evan Ellingson, and according to NBC News, an official cause of death has now been released.
Authorities in California have revealed that Ellingson, 35, died as the result of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Ellingson, who began his professional acting career at a young age and was known for appearances on CSI: Miami, General Hospital, and the film My Sister's Keeper, among other portrayals, reportedly began using drugs at 19, following the overdose death of his older brother.
The actor himself explained back in 2021, “When he died from the overdose, it kind of just sent me over the edge. I would have given everything that I had in order to be able to get my brother back, and I knew I couldn't.”
Sadly, his addiction resulted in the discovery of his body by police in his Fontana, California bedroom on Nov. 5.
Though members of Ellingson's family reported that he had achieved three years of sobriety, they also noted that he had suffered a relapse after having received an opioid prescription stemming from a dental procedure.
In the wake of what they described as their loved one's wholly unexpected death, the Ellingson family shed some light on the tragic nature of the situation, as E! News noted at the time.
“Our family is heartbroken by the sudden passing of our beloved son, brother, uncle and friend, Evan,” a statement issued to NBC News explained.
The family continued, “Evan was one of the most caring individuals who loved Jesus with all his heart. He had a sweet, child-like spirit with a smile that could light up a room.”
“He was always thinking of others and wanted to use his own struggles with addiction to help people find hope,” the statement went on.
Remarking on Ellingson's own battle with addiction, the family noted, “He was passionate about pointing individuals to resources for help,” remarking that he “often shared his journey of recovery” in speaking engagements and other settings.
In the immediate aftermath of his death, Ellingson was remembered fondly by those with whom he worked in the entertainment industry, with Abigail Breslin, co-star of My Sister's Keeper offering her own recollections of the young man.
“Evan Ellingson was a kind, funny and extremely talented human being. Evan was a genuinely thoughtful person who cared so much about turning in the best performance, which he accomplished,” Breslin said.
The actress added, “Evan, I know Heaven will welcome you with open arms,” and perhaps the former star's passing -- and his family's willingness to share details of his personal struggles -- will help others succeed in their quest to conquer their own addictions.