Justin Pierce

Justin Pierce, best known for his role as Casper in “Kids,” died July 10 in Las Vegas. Pierce, 25, committed suicide.

Pierce, whose breakout performance in Larry Clark’s “Kids” (1995) earned him an Independent Spirit Award for best debut performance, was found hanging in a Bellagio casino hotel room. An autopsy determined the cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging.

Pierce, who had completed starring in “Pigeonholed” opposite Chris Noth and Rosanna Arquette, died the night before the film was to preem at the New York Intl. Independent Film and Video Festival in New York. Pierce was not scheduled to attend the premiere and was in Las Vegas to promote the video release of New Line’s “Next Friday,” in which Pierce starred earlier this year opposite Ice Cube.

Pierce made two recent appearances in Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle.” His other credits include “A Brother’s Kiss,” HBO’s “First Time Felon,” “Too Pure,” “Freak Weather,” “Sweethearts of the World,” “The Big Tease,” “BlackMale” and “King of the Jungle” (2000).

He is survived by his wife, Gina, and his mother and father.

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