Former NYPD Blue child actor Austin Majors, who played lead Dennis Franz's son Theo in 48 episodes of the series, died Saturday of suspected fentanyl poisoning.
Majors's younger sister Kali Raglin posted on Instagram Sunday that her "big brother" had died the night before.
“My big brother, Austin, is gone. He died last night. It’s so surreal to me still. He was only 27 with so much life left to live,” she said.
Majors was reportedly staying in a homeless shelter in Los Angeles prior to his death, despite his many roles in movies and TV shows.
Major’s family also released a statement to TMZ that said, “[Austin] 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. Austin was the kind of son, brother, grandson, and nephew that made us proud and we will miss him deeply forever,” the family concluded.
Besides NYPD Blue, Majors appeared in “How I Met Your Mother,” “Desperate Housewives,” “American Dad!,” “Threshold,” “NCIS” and “According to Jim.”
He also had roles in movies including An Accidental Christmas, Christmas in Tinseltown, Treasure Planet, The Price of Air, and The Legend of John Henry.
Majors won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Television Series in 2002 for NYPD Blue. The next year, he was nominated for best voice-over performance for his work in Treasure Planet.
He made music under the name Pope, according to his LinkedIn page. He was also trying to break into producing and directing.
It is not known whether Majors was a habitual drug user or just made a mistake in using fentanyl or being exposed to it.
Because the illicit substance is so strong and has been mixed into other drugs without users knowing, some have overdosed on the drug the first time they used it, or even died from accidental exposure to their skin.
Majors is a high-profile victim of the fentanyl crisis that killed over 100,000 people last year. Fentanyl is being moved across the border as part of the immigration crisis, which the Biden administration is silently sanctioning.
It is a tragedy that so many mostly young lives are being snuffed out in this way.