Dancer and beloved “Ellen DeGeneres Show” sidekick Stephen “Twitch” Boss left a note before he died of a gunshot wound to the head Tuesday, The Times has confirmed.
Contents of the note were not revealed but led investigators to conclude that Boss’ death was a suicide, according to people familiar with the investigation but who were not authorized to speak about it publicly.
The “So You Think You Can Dance” star died earlier this week at an Encino, Calif., motel and his death was ruled a suicide by the L.A. County Coroner on Tuesday.
Boss checked into the property Monday and his body was discovered by motel staff on Tuesday when they entered his room. The 40-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene just after 11 a.m., the coroner said.
As fans have tried to understand the motive behind his death, theories have run amok online. TMZ reported Thursday that Boss’ note alluded to past challenges he faced. Theories have included financial problems, but TMZ reported that the dancer was not experiencing any sort of financial hardship in the time leading up to his death, nor has anyone from his family mentioned financial issues.
The seemingly jubilant performer’s unexpected death also took entertainment figures aback, with Ellen DeGeneres and dozens of fellow colleagues and fans taking to social media to mourn him and send condolences to his wife, Allison, and their three children.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear that someone who brought so much joy to a room, was hurting so much behind closed doors,” singer and actor Justin Timberlake tweeted Wednesday. “I’ve known Twitch for over 20 years through the dance community — he always lit everything up. You just never know what someone is really going through.”
“Take care of yourselves. LOVE that human in the mirror. Check on your people. Sending light to his beautiful family in this dark, confusing time. You will be missed, Sir. Rest Easy,” he added.
On Thursday, actor and dancer Jenna Dewan, who co-starred in the “Step Up” franchise with Boss and her ex-husband Channing Tatum, also paid tribute to the late star.
“Twitch was the kindest, warmest, sweetest soul I had met in this business. He lifted everyone up around him. He made a point to check in on me and my family, because that was who he was — a truly good soul who cared deeply about others. He was a source of inspiration to not only the dance community but the world at large,” she wrote on Instagram. “He was beloved by literally everyone. My whole heart is with you Allison and your beautiful family.”
Tatum, who also co-starred with Boss in “Magic Mike XXL,” on Thursday said: “I have no words. There aren’t any. My head or heart can not understand this. There is just so much… i don’t know where to begin. I love you. I’ll see you again my friend. Until then.”
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.
Suicide prevention and crisis counseling resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help from a professional and call 9-8-8. The United States’ first nationwide three-digit mental health crisis hotline 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors. Text “HOME” to 741741 in the U.S. and Canada to reach the Crisis Text Line.