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The Tragic Truth Behind Frost's Death On Rizzoli & Isles

The following article includes discussions of mental health and suicide.

Countless characters appeared throughout the seven-season run of TNT's crime drama series "Rizzoli & Isles," but there's one in particular who made an unforgettable mark on audiences during the show's first four seasons: Detective Barry Frost. Actor Lee Thompson Young brilliantly portrayed the character, a homicide detective who, ironically, can't stand the sight of gory crime scenes or dead bodies.

Though "Rizzoli & Isles" didn't reduce Barry to mere comedy relief, fans didn't get to see as much of him as they likely hoped to. The Boston Police Detective is killed during the Season 5 premiere, dying in a car accident as he's coming back from a vacation. Detective Frost had to be written out of "Rizzoli & Isles" due to tragic circumstances in real life, which is why Barry's funeral in Season 5, Episode 2 is so emotional.

The devastating death of Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young had a successful career and was a magnetic presence on screen, but the bright young star also struggled with depression and lived with bipolar disorder (via the New York Times). When Young didn't arrive on set to film the penultimate episode of "Rizzoli & Isles" Season 4 in 2013, the police were called to check on the 29-year-old star. They discovered that Young had died by suicide (via USA Today).

Due to the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding Young's death, showrunner Jan Nash explained to TV Guide how the series had a duty to address his passing with care: "We couldn't just say, 'Barry Frost went on vacation,' and occasionally talk about how much fun he was having or give him a new job in a new city. That would feel icky. We realized that we had to have the character die so we could deal with that loss the same way the people on the show had dealt with Lee's loss."

In the show, the Boston Police Department set up the Barry Frost Memorial Scholarship to help pay for students' education if they intend to take up a career that would help the public. Teenage witness Tasha Williams (Jaz Sinclair) is the first recipient of the scholarship, and it allows her to get into Boston Cambridge University, Maura Isles' (Sasha Alexander) alma mater.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.