Ian Alexander Jr., son of actor and director Regina King and her ex-husband, music producer Ian Alexander, has died by suicide, according to a report by People. He was an up-and-coming DJ and musician who worked under the handle Desduné, a gourmet chef, and King’s only child. He turned 26 on Wednesday.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”
In an interview with Flaunt, the young musician, who had eyes on opening a restaurant, said he felt no pressure to become an actor. “Being a personality is more of my thing,” he said. “Being [King’s] son, I have to definitely be a personality. If you’ve met my dad, he’s a huge personality as well.”
In the same interview, he talked about becoming a private chef during the pandemic, delivering Sunday brunches, his passion for cooking Asian fusion cuisine, and the influence of his family. “My mother and my great grandmother, even my grandmother are amazing chefs,” he said.
King has been working in television and film consistently since 1985, when she played Brenda Jenkins, the teen daughter of Marla Gibbs’s Mary Jenkins, in five seasons of 227.
The 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk earned King a best supporting actress Oscar and a Golden Globe, Independent Spirit award, as well as wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review. She has won two Primetime Emmy Awards as a lead actress, for Seven Seconds and for Watchmen. She was also nominated three years in a row for her supporting turn on American Crime.
King began directing in 2013, and after working on shows such as Shameless, This Is Us, The Good Doctor, and Scandal, she made her feature film debut with One Night In Miami… in 2020. The film secured an Oscar nominations for its writer, Kemp Powers, as well as a best supporting actor nomination for Leslie Odom Jr.’s performance as Sam Cooke.
Ian had “a little cameo scene” in One Night in Miami…, of which he was proud. “It was awesome, I was so stoked to do it especially because I auditioned for it. It wasn’t a ‘here, take this role.’ The casting director and everybody picked me, so that felt really good to be able to do.”
Lifeline, a suicide prevention hotline in the United States, can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
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