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Justin Pierce
Born Justin Charles Pierce
March 21, 1975(1975-03-21)
London, England[1]
Died July 10, 2000 (aged 25)
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Spouse(s) Gina Rizzo (1999-2000)

Justin Charles Pierce (March 21, 1975 – July 10, 2000) was an English-born American actor and professional skateboarder.


Early life

Born in London, England to a Welsh mother and an American father, Pierce was raised in the Marble Hill section of The Bronx in New York. He attended P.S. 7 in the Bronx for Elementary School and J.H.S. 141 in the Riverdale section of the Bronx for Junior High School. Pierce's parents divorced when he was 15. After his parent's divorce, he began acting out by stealing cigarettes and food and skipping school in favor of skateboarding. Pierce soon quit school and moved out, staying in a basement of a building with fellow skaters. Pierce was later found under arrest for the possession of marijuana and heroin substances found under his pants in a police road search. The results in the court hearing were found inconclusive which resulted in the releasing of Pierce. Pierce went back to live with his parents at the age of 19.[1]


While skateboarding in Washington Square Park, Pierce was discovered by film director Larry Clark. Clark then cast him in his controversial 1995 film Kids.[1] After the success of Kids, Pierce won an Independent Spirit Award for his portrayal of Casper, the foul-mouthed skater punk friend of main character, Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick), and relocated to Los Angeles. Pierce would go on to appear in the 1997 film A Brother's Kiss with John Leguizamo and Edward Bravo. Pierce also appeared in television movies including 1997's First Time Felon, and the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. He also had a role in the motion picture Next Friday.[2]

Pierce's last on screen appearance was in the 2002 film Looking for Leonard, which was released after his death. The film was dedicated to his memory.[3]

Personal life

In 1999, Pierce married stylist Gina Rizzo in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1]


On July 10, 2000, Pierce was found hanging in his room at the Bellagio hotel by hotel security.[4] The following day, a Catholic memorial service for Pierce was held at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Manhattan's Little Italy.[1]


Year Film Role Notes
1995 Kids Casper
1997 A Brother's Kiss Young Lex
1998 Wild Horses Rookie Alternative title: Lunch Time Special
Myth America
Freak Weather Pizza Guy
1999 Too Pure Leo
Out in Fifty Freddy
Pigeonholed Devon
The Big Tease Skateboard Kid
2000 Next Friday Roach
King of the Jungle Lil' Mafia
BlackMale Luther Wright Alternative title: Blackmail
2002 Looking for Leonard Chevy Released posthumously
Year Title Role Notes
1997 First Time Felon Eddie Television movie
2000 This Is How the World Ends Zombie Television movie
Malcolm in the Middle Justin 2 episodes


Year Award Result Category Film
1996 Independent Spirit Awards Won Best Debut Performance Kids


External links



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