The Tragic Death Of NYPD Blue Star Austin Majors

Austin Majors, famous for playing the character Theo Sipowicz as a kid on "NYPD Blue," died on February 11, 2023, according to TMZ. Majors was 27 at the time of his death and the outlet notes that it is a suspected overdose, adding that an autopsy is expected to be completed on February 13, though a full toxicology report could take considerably longer. Majors died in a homeless shelter in Los Angeles.

His family issued a statement following his death. Majors "[w]as a loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being," they said. "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 [for] directing and music producing." While Majors was most famous for his work as a child actor, he did rack up some film and TV credits as an adult, keeping a steady stream of projects going.

Fans criticize the phenomenon of child stars in light of Austin Majors' death

Although Austin Majors was most famous for appearing in "NYPD Blue," having starred in 48 episodes of the long-running show, he also worked on several other projects during his career, having several one-episode appearances in hit shows like "NCIS," "American Dad!," and "Desperate Housewives."

TMZ reports that the actor may have consumed a lethal amount of fentanyl. An autopsy is expected to be completed on Monday, with final toxicology results coming sometime in the future. The circumstances surrounding his death left many fans wondering how the once-successful actor wound up in a homeless housing facility. "So tragic when these young, successful kids have end up in these circumstances and don't survive. Wondering how he got to that place. RIP," someone tweeted. "I'm wondering why, when he had all these great things going for him, he ended up in a homeless shelter. Poor child, may he RIP," another added.

It certainly speaks to a tragic trend among child stars, many of whom seem to struggle when transitioning to adulthood. There's a long list of former child stars who met tragic fates and many former child stars who had run-ins with the law.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).