Following Sawyer Sweeten’s suicide Thursday morning, his family and former Everybody Loves Raymond costars are coping with the early loss of the 19-year-old actor.
“I’m shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer,” Ray Romano told the Daily Mail. “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.”
Sweeten played Geoffrey Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond alongside twin brother Sullivan. The pair began on the show when they were just one and half years old.
Fellow Everybody Loves Raymond star Doris Roberts shared an old photo of the cast on Facebook with the following message: “He was a very sweet young man who will be dearly missed. Make sure your loved ones know how much you care about them, and please check in with them if you haven’t touched base with them for a while. It’s very important to keep in touch.”
Sweeten’s on-screen mom Patricia Heaton felt for his family, too. “Sawyer was a funny and exceptionally bright young man. He is gone from us far too soon,” Heaton told PEOPLE. “The loss the Sweeten family is experiencing is unimaginable. Tonight hug your children a little tighter and please keep Sawyer and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Real-life and television sister Madilyn Sweeten told Entertainment Tonight: “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.”
She added on Facebook page: “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.” Madilyn appeared on Everybody Loves Raymond as Sawyer and Sullivan’s sister Ally from the show’s inception in 1996.
“We knew and loved Sawyer as a little boy,” the series’ creator Phil Rosenthal told Deadline. “He and his real life siblings Sullivan and Madylin were such a charming, integral part of our TV family. They never failed to make us laugh, or remind of us how we feel about our own children. We are terribly sad to hear this news and our hearts go out to Sawyer’s family.”
Outside of the Everybody Loves Raymond family, former child stars Christy Carlson Romano and Lacy Chabert expressed their sorrow on Twitter: