'NYPD Blue' Star Austin Majors Dead: What to Know About the Death of Dennis Franz's On-Screen Son

Dennis Franz is mourning the loss of his TV son, Austin Majors. The former child actor died on Feb. 11 at the age of 27. He starred as the son of Franz's NYPD Blue character, Detective Andy Sipowicz. Majors played the role of Theo. "I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Austin's passing," Franz said in a statement, as reported by Deadline. "Austin was always such a joy to have on the set. He brought smiles and happiness to everyone." Majors starred on the show for seven seasons. 

"Some of my favorite scenes during the 12 years of NYPD Blue are with Sipowicz and Theo. Every day that Austin worked I would greet him with a special song, 'It's Austin Major's Day' sung to the tune of Howdy Doody Time," Franz remembers fondly. He added: "Although we haven't stayed in touch since the show ended in 2005, I will always remember him fondly. My love and condolences to his family."

Before personal struggles took over, Majors also had roles in a string of popular shows and movies in the '90s and early 200s, including According to Jim, American Dad!, Desperate Housewives and How I Met Your Mother,  as well as the television film, An Accidental Christmas. 

In recent years, he lived at the homeless facility Hilda Solis Care First Village. TMZ reports he died of a possible fentanyl overdose while living at the facility. An autopsy will reveal the final toxicology findings. 

His family issued a statement to TMZ, noting: "(Austin) was a loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being. Austin took great joy and pride in his acting career. 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 of directing and music producing."

His younger sister, Kali, also an actor, spoke of his charitable efforts. She said in her own statement: "Austin was the kind of son, brother, grandson, and nephew that made us proud and we will miss him deeply forever."