The sudden and shocking news of the death of former child star Austin Majors at the age of 27 has sent shockwaves through Hollywood. (Age 27 sounds familiar, I’ll tell you about a secret club down below). On Feb. 11, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s website indicated that Majors, born Austin Setmajer, had passed away. While the cause of death is currently unknown, TMZ reported that he was staying at a homeless housing facility in Los Angeles and “may have ingested a fatal amount of fentanyl.”
Per his official website, he received the 2002 Young Artists Award for best performance in a television series for his work on NYPD Blue. His other credits include appearances on ER, According to Jim and Desperate Housewives, as well as films Dead Silence, The Ant Bully and Nevada. His final acting appearance was in a 2009 episode of How I Met Your Mother, where he played a 12-year-old version of Barney Stinson’s (Neil Patrick Harris) former grade school nemesis.
Austin’s family issued a statement to PEOPLE that highlighted the young man’s many talents, “Austin was a loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being. 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.” Moreover, Austin was a volunteer who worked with ‘Kids With a Cause’ and enjoyed backpacking with his younger sister, Kali. Austin’s talent agency, Clear Talent Group, also shared a statement about their late client, “It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of our talented client, Austin Majors.
Most people will remember him as young Theo Sipowicz on ABC’s NYPD Blue and the voice of Young Jim in Disney’s Treasure Planet, but we will remember him as the caring, generous, and kindhearted individual that he was.” Outside of his acting career, Majors had a YouTube channel called “AwesomePerfected” and musical alias, Pope, in which he created “a non-denominational rebellion against exclusivity, ‘genre’ & cult-like thinking; a celebration of life, in all of its intrinsic, very necessary polarities (many traditional faiths & tethers to the divine are power centrically antiquated).” He also worked on numerous charitable causes and made efforts to better our world.
The 27 Club is a tragic constant to this day, a reminder of the fleeting nature of life, and the impact that young artists can have on the world. It is a reminder to appreciate the time we have with the people we love, and to always strive to make the most of our lives. This is especially true of young artists, who often have an immense amount of talent, but tragically die before they ever get to fully realize their potential. The 27 Club serves as a cautionary tale to remind us to take care of ourselves, and to be aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
The 27 Club has also inspired many tributes and memorials for its fallen members. In 2006, a documentary about the 27 Club was released, titled “The 27 Club: A Film About Life, Death & Superstition.” In 2008, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams wrote a tribute song, “27,” for the 27 Club. In 2019, the documentary “27: Gone Too Soon” was released, featuring interviews with family members of the members of the 27 Club. And in 2020, a podcast series about the members of the 27 Club was released. The members of the 27 Club are gone, but their legacies continue to inspire and remind us of the power of art, the importance of taking care of ourselves, and the fragility of life. The 27 Club is an unfortunate and tragic coincidence in rock & roll history. The passing of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Jim Morrison at the age of 27 between 1969 and 2011 has left an indelible mark on music and pop culture. While it serves as a reminder of the fragility of life, it also serves as a testament to the immense influence that these young artists had on the world.
Their legacies have inspired many tributes and memorials, from documentaries and films, to songs and podcasts. These tributes are a reminder of the remarkable talent and potential of the members of the 27 Club, and the impact that their lives had on the world. The members of the 27 Club are gone, but their legacies continue to remind us of the importance of cherishing life and living it to the fullest.
The loss of Austin Majors is a tragedy and our prayers and condolences go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.