Tribute to Raymond TV star Sweeten
Published 24/04/2015 | 09:36
Everybody Loves Raymond's Ray Romano has paid tribute to his former co-star Sawyer Sweeten after he ended his own life aged just 19.
Sweeten's family confirmed the former child star - who played Raymond and Debra's son Geoffrey Barone for 10 years in the hit US sitcom - "took his own life".
Romano, 57, who played Raymond on the show, said in a statement to E! News: "I'm shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer. He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around. Just a great energy whenever he was there.
"My heart breaks for him, his family, and his friends during this very difficult time."
US media reported that Sweeten shot himself on the front porch of the family home in Texas.
The family said in a statement: "This morning a terrible family tragedy has occurred.
"We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday.
"At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love."
Sweeten began starring in the show, along with his twin brother Sullivan as Michael Barone, in 1996, when they were just 16 months old.
Their elder sister Madylin played their on-screen sister Ally Barone in the sitcom, which ran until 2005.
She wrote on Facebook: "At this time I would like to encourage everyone to reach out to the ones you love. Let them have no doubt of what they mean to you."