‘NYPD Blue’ child actor Austin Majors’ cause of death revealed

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By Dan Sears

Accidental fentanyl toxicity is to blame for the Feb. 11 death of former “NYPD Blue” child actor Austin Majors, per a Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy report obtained by The Post.

Majors, née Austin Setmajer, died at age 27. 

At the time of his death, TV’s onetime golden boy — best known for portraying Theo Sipowicz, son of Detective Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz, on the ABC cop drama — was residing in a homeless housing facility in LA.

Franz, 78, praised Majors for being a “joy to work with” in a testament penned to the fallen actor’s website. 

“He never has lost his enthusiasm to be on the set. He just loves coming to work,” wrote Franz. “He thinks of this as his playground and all of us as his older playmates! It is Austin Majors Day when he is here, he runs the show. But when he hears his cue, he gets a twinkle in his eye and he is ready to work.”

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At his passing, Majors’ family released a statement reading, in part: “[Austin] was a loving, artistic, brilliant, and kind human being. Austin took great joy and pride in his acting career … Austin was the [kind] of son, brother, grandson, and nephew that made us proud and we will miss him deeply forever.”


(Left) Austin Majors. (Right) Majors with Dennis Franz on the set of ABC's "NYPD Blue."
An autopsy report revealed that former “NYPD Blue” actor Austin Majors (left) died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in February 2023.
NYPost Composite

Austin Majors at NYPD Blue's 200th episode celebration at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles, Ca. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2002.
Majors’ family remembered him as a “loving” and “artistic” person.
Getty Images

In 2002, he was awarded the Young Artist Award for best performance in a TV series. That year, he was also nominated for best performance in a voice-over role for his work in the animated flick “Treasure Planet.”

His other gigs included guest parts on “Desperate Housewives,” “NCIS,” “ER,” “Providence,” “According to Jim,” “American Dad!” and an appearance in the 2007 Lifetime movie “An Accidental Christmas.”

The young actor’s final televised performance was in a 2009 episode of “How I Met Your Mother.”


Austin Majors during "NYPD Blue" Wrap Party to Commemorate 12 Seasons On ABC at The Ebell of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Majors’ work earned him a number of accolades.
FilmMagic

In September 2020, Majors shared a snapshot of his SAG-AFTRA card, which listed him as a member since 2000. 

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He celebrated his 20-year membership in the caption of his post, writing: “Woah! Just paid dues & realized I’ve been a member of SAG for 2 decades (now @sagaftra). What a beautiful ride it has been. I never dreamed I’d still be alive this many years later … let alone what this would effect. My first union job was a commercial for @bountypapertowels , the quicker picker upper! haha) I’m proud/shocked by this seeming time-warp & somehow it still feels like the trip is just begining 🙂 Keep it 100 fam.”

Majors is one of the many A-listers to suffer a fentanyl-related end. 

Musicians Tom Petty, Coolio, Mac Miller and Prince, as well as actors Michael K. Williams and former child actor Adam Rich, have all met their fates due to lethal hits of the powerful drug. 

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