Jansen Panettiere, the younger brother of Nashville and Heroes actress Hayden Panettiere, has died at age 28, TMZ reported Monday.
The report cited a family source who said Jansen died over the weekend and that foul play is not suspected.
Jansen, like his sister, began acting as a child, including voicing a cat named Periwinkle on the sixth season of Blue’s Clues. His acting credits also include the 2007 Nickelodeon film The Last Day of Summer, the animated TV show The X’s, and the 2009 baseball drama The Perfect Game. More recently, he guest-starred in a 2019 episode of The Walking Dead.
In more recent years, Jansen took up painting; his Instagram is filled with photos of his art, and his website describes him as a New York-based artist who grew up in the entertainment industry.
“After spending time in LA as an adult he was ridden with terrible anxiety and depression; this period in his life eventually produced a spiritual clarity that drove him to start painting his problems, one by one,” his site reads.
Catherine Michie, Panettiere’s girlfriend, said in an Instagram post on late Sunday night that “words cannot express the pain of knowing I won’t hear your laugh again.”
“I hope you find peace, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me most. The world is better because you were in it. I know we will paint together again someday,” she wrote.
Michie, a nurse, appeared on Panettiere’s Instagram account in numerous posts — and Panettiere even featured Michie in his last post on Friday. The photo was of Michie and a painting of a woman wearing a mask, captioned only with a blue heart and “#rane”.
“I met you only a year ago, but you have been my best friend and biggest fan,” Michie wrote. “I will never forget the first time I saw your face and the first things you said to me. I’ll always be your sugarpop. Someone wake me up and tell me this is a dream. Love you, Bubbles.”