Evan Ellingson, a former child star known for his roles in “My Sister’s Keeper” and “CSI: Miami,” died at the age of 35 in Fontana, California.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Ellingson’s cause of death was an accidental fentanyl overdose. The incident occurred on November 5, 2023, in a sober living home where Ellingson was residing.
Sober living homes, also known as sober houses or sober living environments, provide safe housing and support for individuals recovering from substance abuse issues.
Ellingson’s family disclosed in an announcement following his passing that he had successfully maintained sobriety for three years. It was only after receiving a prescription for opioids subsequent to a dental treatment that he experienced a relapse.
Born and raised in La Verne, California, Ellingson entered the acting world as a child, capturing audiences with his performances in various television shows and films. He first gained attention in the 1990s, appearing on “Mad TV” and “Titus.” However, his most notable role came in 2009 with the film “My Sister’s Keeper,” where he played the character Brian Dalton. Despite a successful start, Ellingson retired from acting in 2010.
The path following his acting career was marred by personal challenges. Ellingson faced a battle with drug abuse, which he openly attributed to the trauma of losing his older brother to a heroin overdose. This loss propelled him into a downward spiral of drug use beginning at age 19.
In 2021, Ellingson sought help and underwent treatment at River’s Edge Ranch, a rehabilitation facility in California, indicating a hopeful turn in his struggle with addiction.
Though fraught with challenges, his life was not without accomplishment and admiration. His co-star in “My Sister’s Keeper,” Abigail Breslin, remembered him fondly and described him as “a kind, funny, and extremely talented human being.” She shared her memories of Ellingson on Instagram, highlighting his thoughtful nature and dedication to his craft.
His journey in the entertainment industry was unique, beginning with an early discovery at a skate park that led to his participation in a commercial for the Vans Company. His undeniable charisma and talent earned him roles in notable productions such as “Complete Savages,” “24,” and “Letters from Iwo Jima.” His last on-screen appearance was in “CSI: Miami,” where he portrayed Kyle Harmon, the son of David Caruso’s character Lt. Horatio Caine.
Ellingson is survived by his family, including three brothers, with whom he grew up in California.