Jansen Panettiere, Hayden Panettiere’s younger brother who got his start on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon in the early 2000s, died on Sunday, February 19. He was 28 years old.
The actor, who was found by a friend “sitting upright in a chair unresponsive” at his home in Nyack, New York, was pronounced dead on arrival by first responders after CPR was administered, according to the police report obtained by Us Weekly on Tuesday, February 21.
Jansen, an artist who frequently displayed his bold and colorful work via Instagram, was supposed to have a business meeting earlier that day, the police report stated. His friend grew worried after he didn’t show up and went to his house, calling 911 after finding the Last Day of Summer actor “unresponsive.”
While a cause of death is pending, the document stated that there were “no obvious signs of trauma.”
Alan “Skip” Panettiere, Hayden and Jansen’s father, also arrived at his son’s home, telling police that Jansen “sounded OK” when the two spoke on the phone the night before.
Jansen began his career as an actor in the early 2000s with such credits as a one-off episode of Even Stevens in 2002, followed by a role in Hayden’s Disney Channel Original Movie Tiger Cruise two years later. That same year, the Fog actor also lent his voice to the hit Nickelodeon children’s show Blue’s Clues for four episodes.
Jansen went on to expand his voice talents in the 2006 Ice Age sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown, as Shovelmouth Boy. One year later, he landed the biggest role of his career in Nickelodeon’s TV movie The Last Summer.
As the New York native continued to act throughout the years, including in an episode of The Walking Dead in 2019 and two consecutive films in 2021 and 2022, he also became dedicated to his career as an artist, frequently sharing photos of his work on his Instagram account.
Jansen’s art focused on bright, vivid colors and abstract designs. He worked with spray paint and graffiti and was particularly proud of two pieces of work prior to his death.
“I like this one. #rane,” he wrote on Friday, February 17, alongside a vibrant painting of various geometric shapes and lines.
He also uploaded a photo of a woman named Catherine, who appeared to be his girlfriend, next to his painting of a woman’s face. “#rane,” he captioned the photo. One month prior, Jansen shared a sweet snapshot of the two of them kissing inside of a photo booth.
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