The MTV co-host, model and actor Sam Sarpong jumped from a bridge leading to his death at the age of 40.
The Sarpong family is in mourning. A rep of the family gave the world the bad news that Sam Sarpong is no longer in this world. Samuel Sarpong, a model, actor and former MTV host, has died at the age of 40. His family appreciates the thoughts, prayers and other expressions of sympathy. They request their privacy to be respected at this extremely difficult time.
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“It is with great sadness that the family of Samuel Sarpong, Jr. must share the news that Sam has passed away,” his publicist said in a statement on Wednesday on behalf of his family.
“The circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation and no additional details are known at this time. Information about final arrangements will be forthcoming. The family appreciates the thoughts prayers and other expressions of sympathy, and request their privacy be respected at this extremely difficult time.”
The death occurred on Monday. Pasadena law enforcement and fire officials responded to calls of a man on a bridge, who was later confirmed to be Sarpong. Police said in a statement that family members were called to the scene, and provided background regarding his emotional state. After approximately seven hours of communication, the male jumped from the bridge, read the police statement. He was pronounced deceased by Pasadena Fire Paramedics at 3:52 p.m.
“[Sarpong] had a pure heart and always went out of his way to help others,” his rep, J.D. Sobol, told Variety. “We will all miss him dearly.”
The British-American star was born in London and moved to Los Angeles with his father when he was 11. He went on to book modelling work, including being the face of Tommy Hilfiger for six years. He also walked the runways for Versace, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Donna Karen. He went on to act.
His first onscreen role was in an episode of Claire Danes’ ‘My So-Called Life’ in 1994. In 2006, his big TV break came when MTV cast him as one of its co-hosts for “Yo Momma.” Sarpong and Wilmer Valderrama travelled across the country for three seasons to find the best trash talkers. After the show ended in 2007, Sarpong hosted BET pre-awards show ‘All Access.’
His other TV credits include “Pacific Blue,” “Family Matters,” “ER,” “Boston Public,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Veronica Mars,” “Bones” and “24.” He also had a role in FX’s heavily buzzed “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which is set to debut next year. He appeared in films “Carmen: The Hip Hopera,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Anchor Baby.”
Sarpong is survived by his father Samuel Sarpong Sr. and his sister June Sarpong, who is a well-known TV personality in the United Kingdom.
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Wilmer Valderrama, who co-hosted the MTV reality show Yo Momma with Sam Sarpong, has released the following statement to E! News: "I am so sad and so confused.. Sam did it all, believed in dreaming bigger than anyone around him.. We made memories together that will last us forever, thank you for sharing your talent with me and the world.. Find your peace my brother! And to everyone in a dark place.. PLEASE, please talk to someone.. Anyone.. Trust me that we WILL listen. My prayers and heart are with family and friends that were blessed to know his beautiful soul."