ENTERTAINMENT

Michael Galeota Dead: Former Disney Child Star Dies, Aged 31

12/01/2016 12:51 GMT | Updated 12/01/2016 12:59 GMT

Former Disney child star Michael Galeota has died at the age of 31.

The actor, best known for playing Nick Lighter in ‘The Jersey’, was found dead by a friend at his home in Glendale on Sunday (10 January).

He is said to have died from “natural causes”, TMZ reports.

michael galeota

Michael Galeota, pictured in 2000

Michael is said to have been admitted to hospital last Wednesday complaining of abdominal pains, but discharged himself against doctors’ advice.

The site claims that he had a history of hypertension and high cholesterol, and also battled diverticulitis, which is the inflammation of the digestive tract.

As well as his role on ‘The Jersey’, Michael also had roles in ‘ER’ and ‘Ally McBeal’ as a child.

His family have since set up a fundraising page to help “provide a burial that is worthy of a giver”.

A tribute from them on the page read: “He was a precious gift – loving, giving, compassionate, joyful and intelligent. A great inspiration for anyone that heard his genuine, humble, witty and joyful voice, or experienced his smile, laughter and love for just a moment. To know him was to love him.

“His humble nature hid a great compassionate and loving human being, with a huge heart. He cared profoundly for his family and friends. Mike was a great giver, always ready and able to care for others.

“Although his life was short, we are grateful and appreciate the experience of having been loved, and loved him in return, and for being in our lives. In our hearts and souls, he will always be with us.”

Fellow former child star Drake Bell - best known from the series ‘Drake And Josh’ - was among the first to pay tribute on Twitter.

"So sad to hear the news about Michael... Please donate whatever you can. #MichaelGaleota," he wrote.

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