Everybody Loves Raymond's Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton Mourn Sawyer Sweeten's Death

Former child star was just 19 when he died Thursday of an apparent suicide

By Rebecca Macatee Apr 24, 2015 1:00 PMTags
Sawyer Sweeten, Madylin Sweeten, Sullivan Sweeten Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Everybody Loves Raymond cast lost a family member far too soon.

Sawyer Sweeten, who played little Geoffrey Barone on the series from 1996 to 2005, died in an apparent suicide Thursday. He was just 19.

Patricia Heaton, who played Sawyer's mother on the show, tweeted about the extraordinary loss. "The entire cast of #EverybodyLovesRaymond is in shock," she wrote. "Prayers for the Sweeten family."

"Sawyer Sweeten was a funny and exceptionally bright young man," she added. "He is gone from us far too soon."

In a statement to E! News Thursday, she added, "Sawyer was a funny and exceptionally bright young man. He is gone from us far too soon. 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."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Ray Romano, Sawyer's onscreen father, told E! News in a statement he was "shocked and terribly saddened" by the news. "He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around," he said. "Just a great energy whenever he was there. My heart breaks for him, his family and his friends during this very difficult time."

Sawyer's grandmother on Everybody Loves Raymond, played by Doris Roberts, posted a heartfelt Facebook tribute about the loss of her former co-star. "It is with great sadness that I learned the news that Sawyer Sweeten, who played my grandson Geoffrey Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, died at his family's home in Texas," she wrote. "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."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sawyer's real-life siblings were in his TV family as well. His twin brother Sullivan Sweeten played his twin Michael Barone, and big sister Madylin Sweeten, now 23, played the boys' older sister Ally Barone. In a statement Thursday, Madylin said: "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."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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