Actor, model and former host of MTV’s “Yo Momma,” Sam Sarpong, has died at the age of 40 according to his publicist.
Reports indicate that Sarpong died of an apparent suicide after jumping off a bridge in Pasadena, California, on Monday, Oct. 27 .
“It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away,” said his publicist via statement. “The family appreciates the thoughts prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request their privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time. Information about final arrangements will be forthcoming.”
Born in Britain, Sarpong moved to Los Angeles at the age of 11 and got his start in the world of modeling walking runways for Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Gucci and Versace before becoming the face of Tommy Hilfiger for over six years.
In 1994 Sarpong broke into acting with a cameo on Claire Danes’ popular show, My So Called Life.” He went on to appear on a number of other shows including Boston Public, ER, “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Family Matters” and “Veronica Mars.” His big break came in 2006 when he was tapped to co-host MTV’s game show, “Yo Momma,” alongside “That 70’s Show” actor Wilmer Valderrama.
Sarpong also appeared in a handful of films including Anchor Baby, Carmen: The Hip Hopera, and Love Don’t Cost a Thing. More recently, Sapong had just begun a minor role as a neighbor in the upcoming FX event series “American Crime Story.”
“He had a pure heart and always went out of his way to help others,” his rep, J.D. Sobol, told Variety. “We will all miss him dearly.”
Sarpong is survived by his father, Samuel Sarpong Sr., and his sister, June.