Blake Heron, who gained fame with his starring role in the 1996 movie “Shiloh,” is dead. He was 35.
Heron died on Sept. 8 at his home in Los Angeles, reports TMZ.
Paramedics reportedly spend 40 minutes trying to revive him after he was discovered by his girlfriend, makeup stylist Chanel Panagiotopoulos.
Although Heron had battled heroin addiction, and was only recently released from rehab, no illegal drugs were found at the scene.
He discussed his addiction the documentary “A Thousand Junkies,” which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017.
“Coming from a long line of drug addicts and alcoholics, I think it’s just in my genes,” he explained in the movie. “From a very early age I was intrigued by the darker side of life. I started doing drugs when I was about 12. At about 21 I just completely lost all touch with myself and reality and made heroin my absolute number one priority and literally lost everything. I lost everything, but most importantly I lost myself. I felt like I lost my soul.”
Heron’s film debut was in “Tom and Huck,” a 1995 movie based on Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer.” Brad Renfro, who played the role of Huckleberry Finn in the film, died of a heroin overdose in 2008, notes the Daily Mail.
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Charles Rocket, who portrayed a judge in the movie, committed suicide in 2005. As reported on the website Blog of Death, “His throat was slit, and a knife was found next to the body. The state medical examiner determined the cause of death to be self-inflicted.”
For television, Heron’s acting credits include “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Criminal Minds,” “Picket Fences,” and many others, as listed by IMDb. His feature films include “We Were Soldiers,” “Good vs Evil,” and the not-yet-released “Dirt.”
But his fame will be forever linked with “Shiloh,” the story of a young boy who rescues an abused dog that escaped from its cruel owner. The role earned Heron a Young Artist Award for Best Performance as a leading young actor.
Heron was born in Massapequa, New York, in 1982. At age 7, he moved to Marietta, Georgia, where he began modeling and acting in commercials. Soon after moving to Los Angeles, he landed his role “Tom and Huck,” followed shortly thereafter by “Shiloh” at age 12.