British-American actor and model Sam Sarpong passed away on Monday, Oct. 26, sources confirmed to Us Weekly. Sarpong took his own life. He was 40 at the time of his death.
A rep for Sam released the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away,” his family said in a statement via his rep. “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.”
The statement also noted that final arrangements are forthcoming.
According to a news release from the Pasadena Police Department, a witness called law enforcement on Monday morning after seeing a man standing outside of the bridge railing. Officers and firefighters communicated with him for hours, but he ultimately jumped to his death.
“It is sad and troubling when an individual has become so despondent that he or she feels their only option is to end their life,” Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said in a statement. “These incidents can often have a significant impact on the victim’s loved ones, first responders, and the community as a whole. My prayers go out to the family.”
Sam lived in Pasadena, was born in London and moved to the USA with his Ghana-born father when he was 11.
He appeared as an actor in scores of films, such as Anchor Baby and Love Don’t Cost a Thing, and also scores of TV series, such as Bones, 24, Cold Case, NCIS and ER.
His IMDb page reports he was filming a role in the upcoming FX series, American Crime Story, scheduled to air in 2016.
As a model for Tommy Hilfiger, he was the face of the brand for several years. He also modeled for designers such as Versace, Donna Karan, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.
He may have been best known as a co-host on MTV’s Yo Momma for three seasons alongside Wilmer Valderrama.
He won the MAA Fashion Award for Male Model of the Year, and twice was named byToday’s Black Woman magazine on their “Fifty Most Beautiful People” list.