Actor Jackson Odell Found Dead At Sober Living Facility

By Maggie Ethridge 06/12/18

Odell had appeared on a variety of sitcoms including "The Goldbergs," "Arrested Development" and "Modern Family."

Actor Jackson Odell
Photo via YouTube

Actor Jackson Odell has been found dead at a sober living facility in Tarzana, California on Friday, June 8.

Odell was 20 years old at his time of death, the cause of which has yet to be confirmed through an autopsy. E! News reported that the LA County Coroner's Office stated that no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene of his death. Odell’s last drug test had been clean.

According to TMZ, Odell had been in the sober living facility for three weeks.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigations for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, stated that Odell had a “history with heroin” and that autopsy results would be delayed due to toxicology tests that will be done in order to evaluate if anything was in Odell’s system at the time of his death.

Odell was an actor and a musician who had portrayed Ari Caldwell on ABC’s The Goldbergs from 2013 to 2015. In addition to other small acting roles on shows such as Modern Family and Arrested Development, he was a singer-songwriter who contributed original songs for the soundtrack of the film Forever My Girl.

Odell’s family released a statement that focused on the young man’s spirit and place in his family:

"The Odell family has lost our beloved son and brother, Jackson Odell on Friday," the statement read. "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.  We are now going to try to make sense of our immeasurable loss privately. We will not be making any further statements."

Comedian and songwriter Josh Wolf created songs with Odell, and Wolf’s wife, Bethany, directed the movie Forever My Girl, for which Odell co-wrote the song "Don’t Water Down My Whiskey."  

Yahoo News published Josh Wolf’s tribute to Odell:

“It’s important that people know how ready he was to live. How happy he was to be alive. How much more he had to share with all of us. We are simply crushed. Please go to his site, listen to his music, watch his videos… celebrate his life with us. We love you, Jackson.”

Modern Family star Ariel Winter shared on Twitter that she had known Odell since they were 12 years old. “We didn’t talk much as we entered into our high school years, but I’m glad I got to spend time with him before his end. Very hard for me to hear about anyone passing away, but someone so young really saddens me.”

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.