The Goldbergs' Jackson Odell Died of an Accidental Drug Overdose

The Goldbergs actor was found dead at age 20 in June and had a history of drug addiction

By Corinne Heller Aug 27, 2018 6:45 PMTags

UPDATE: Jackson Odell's family is speaking out after the actor's cause of death was revealed.

"Jackson was more than his addiction. And although Jackson struggled only for a short time with his addiction, the evil seductress won. But that does not diminish the brilliantly talented musician and beautiful soul that Jackson was. He was an accomplished singer/songwriter and the world was just beginning to hear his talent. Jackson did not want to die. Jackson loved life and everything about it. He was always the first to say yes and when he did he was all in. His personality was big and his heart even bigger. If you were one of the lucky ones who knew Jackson you know when he loved you he loved you forever. You knew if he was your friend he was a friend for life," the family said in a statement to E! News. 

"We were with him only days before he died. He was happy. He sang one of his songs for us and luckily we recorded it. He was in a good place and so optimistic not only about his sobriety but his future. He wanted to live and to share the music that poured out of him. We have so many of his songs that no-one has heard yet. We hope to pull them all together and let the world learn about him through his incredible music and not just his unfortunate and untimely death," the statement continued. "There is a bigger story here. It is one of a pandemic of addiction that is attacking this generation across the globe. Our son paid the ultimate price. I hope someone is listening and something can be done to stop this chaos. We love you Jackson."


The cause of actor Jackson Odell's death has been revealed: The Goldbergs star had suffered an accidental drug overdose.

The 20-year-old, who played Ari Caldwell on the ABC comedy series from 2013 to 2015, was found unresponsive at a sober living facility near Los Angeles in June.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office recently determined that Odell died of "acute heroin and cocaine toxicity" and that the manner of his death was accidental, E! News has learned.

The department had told E! News shortly after the actor's death that he had a history of heroin addiction and that his last drug test was clean. No drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene of his death and that there were also no signs of foul play. 

Celebrity Deaths: 2018's Fallen Stars

After Odell's death, his family said in a statement, "The Odell family has lost our beloved son and brother, Jackson Odell...He will always be a shining light and a brilliant, loving and talented soul. He had so much more to share. Our family will always carry that truth forward. Our wish is that the rest of the world who knew and loved him does as well."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In addition to The Goldbergs, Odell also appeared on shows such as Private PracticeiCarlyModern FamilyArrested Development and The Fosters, and the 2011 movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.

He was also a singer-songwriter and contributed several songs to the soundtrack for the 2018 film Forever My Girl, including "Wings of an Angel," made famous by Lauren Alaina.

(Originally published Sunday, August 26, 2018 at 2:45 p.m. PST)

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