Model Sam Sarpong dies
British-born actor and model Sam Sarpong has died in an apparent suicide.
The Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter tells UsMagazine.com the 40-year-old passed away on Tuesday (27Oct15) after jumping from a bridge. His family have since released a statement in which they pay tribute to the star, who modelled for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger.
"It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away," his loved ones said via his representative. "The circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation and no additional details are known at this time. ... The family appreciates the thoughts and prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request that privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time."
Sarpong, the brother of UK TV presenter June Sarpong, moved to Los Angeles from London with his Ghanaian father at the age of 11. He pursued a career in showbusiness after his plans to play professional basketball stalled, and he found fame as a model for Hilfiger. His other high profile modelling jobs included stints for Louis Vuitton, Versace, Donna Karen, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.
He made his screen debut in 1994's My So-Called Life and went on to land roles in Beyoncé's TV movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera and Love Don't Cost a Thing with Nick Cannon and Christina Milian. He also served as co-host on MTV's Yo Momma with Wilmer Valderrama, and appeared in TV series NCIS, ER, Veronica Mars, 24 and Bones. He had just scored a part in American Crime Story.
Sarpong was also active on the music scene as a member of hip-hop group the League. He recently went solo and his song Thunder featured on the Scary Movie 5 soundtrack.