Jansen Panettiere, Hayden Panettiere’s brother, has passed away at 28. He was a former child actor who starred in Disney Channel movies alongside his famous sister. According to several news outlets, he died in New York City over the weekend. The cause of his death is unknown, but TMZ has reported no indication of foul play and that police were called to his home around 5:30 PM Sunday. So heartbreaking.
Jansen was born on September 25, 1994, in Palisades, New York. His first on-screen appearance was in a minor role in an episode of the Disney Channel series Even Stevens. He went on to do voiceover work in several animated movies and TV shows, such as Blue’s Clues, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and The X’s, where he voiced the character of Truman X.
Jansen and Hayden appeared in two Disney Channel movies: Tiger Cruise in 2004 and The Forger in 2012. Additionally, Jansen voiced the young version of the zebra in Racing Stripes, in which Hayden starred.
Previously, the actress had discussed Jansen’s struggles with mental health. As indicated on his website’s biography, Jansen faced depression and “severe” anxiety during his adult years in Los Angeles. During this period, painting provided a means of expression and healing. He had been introduced to art by his father in his youth. His talent was evident as he posted many of his designs on his Instagram account.
Hayden was said to be ‘inconsolable’ over the news of her only brother’s death. I can’t even imagine what she is going through right now, and I hope she can pull through this. She has dealt with her own issues of addiction and then later battled postpartum depression after her daughter Kaya was born in 2014. She has since been an advocate for mental health awareness.
Despite the five-year age gap, Jansen and Hayden had a strong bond. In one of Jansen’s recent Instagram posts, he shared a photo of Hayden attempting to cut his hair with the caption, “Not the first haircut she’s tried to give me.”
Jansen’s last acting appearances were in 2019, in the film How High 2 and a season 9 episode of The Walking Dead. According to imdb, he was linked to four projects currently in development at the time of his death.