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‘NYPD Blue’ star Dennis Franz honors Austin Majors: ‘He brought smiles and happiness’

A boy in a black button-up shirt and a tie smiles
Austin Majors pictured at the Young Artist Awards in Los Angeles in 2005.
(Mike Fanous / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
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Austin Majors, a former child actor who appeared for years on the ABC series “NYPD Blue,” has died at age 27.

According to the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner, Majors — who also went by Austin Majors-Setmajer — died Saturday. A cause of death has not yet been determined, and the case has been “deferred” pending examination.

According to TMZ, which broke news of Majors’ death on Monday, the actor died at a homeless housing facility in Los Angeles.

Born Nov. 23, 1995, Majors was best known for his work as Theo Sipowicz, son to Dennis Franz‘s Det. Andy Sipowicz, in “NYPD Blue” from 1999 to 2004. In 2002, he received a Young Artist award for his work on the series, which won 20 Emmys over its 12 seasons.

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“NYPD Blue” also starred Jimmy Smits, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel and Bill Brochtrup.

In a statement shared Tuesday with The Times, Franz said he was “so shocked and saddened to hear of Austin’s passing.”

“Austin was always such a joy to have on the set, he brought smiles and happiness to everyone,” he said.

For years Franz said he shared the screen with Majors, whom he would greet with “a special song, ‘It’s Austin Majors Day’ sung to the tune of ‘Howdy Doody Time,’” the statement said.

“Although we haven’t stayed in touch since the show ended in 2005, I will always remember him fondly,” Franz continued. “My love and condolences to his family.”

“NYPD Blue” was renewed Monday for what ABC said will be its 12th and final season.

Feb. 10, 2004

Majors’ television credits also included episodes of “ER,” “NCIS,” “American Dad,” “Desperate Housewives” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

Clear Talent Group, which represented Majors, remembered the actor “as the caring, generous, and kindhearted individual that he was.”

“A graduate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a passion for directing and music producing, Austin’s talents were boundless,” the statement continued. “Our hearts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family.”

“Austin took great joy and pride in his acting career,” Kali Majors-Raglin, the actor’s sister, said in a statement shared Monday with The Times. “From the time he was little, he never knew a stranger and his goal in life was to make people happy.”

Mayor Karen Bass wants officials to vet each of its vacant surplus properties by March 31 to determine which would work best for homeless housing.

Feb. 11, 2023

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Days before his death, Majors posted on his Instagram story that he “got to meet” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and encouraged his followers to “look for me on Fox tonight.”

On Feb. 7, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that Majors met with Jeff Olivet, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, at the Hilda L. Solis Care First Village in downtown Los Angeles.

Majors graduated from USC in 2017 with a degree in cinematography and film/video production. In recent years Majors worked as a photographer, videographer and documentarian, according to his LinkedIn page.

His additional film and television credits included “Treasure Planet,” “Brother Bear,” “Elf,” “ Threshold” and “According to Jim.” Majors also released music under the name Pope!.

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