Michael Galeota, former star of Disney’s The Jersey, has been found dead in his California home.
The Wrap gave a short bio of the late child actor, whose status as a Disney star came at the pinnacle of the Disney Channel’s late 90’s and early 2000’s run to promote sports-themed media:
“Galeota was a child star who appeared in a number of TV and film projects during his career. His biggest role, however, was the lead character on “The Jersey.” The show followed Nick (Galeota), a boy who inherits a magical football jersey from his grandfather that allows him to jump into the body of various pro athletes…The show aired on the Disney Channel from 1999-2004, with Courtnee Draper, Jermaine Williams and Theo Greenly appearing as Galeota’s friends and fellow members of the Monday Night Football Club.”
That said, The Jersey is believed to have been his last credited acting role. His other, earlier acting credits include Bailey Kipper’s P.O.V., a short-lived CBS sitcom about a kid filmmaker, and the films Bushwhacked and Clubhouse Detectives.
Galeota was 31 at the time of his death, with the official date of death being Sunday, January 10. His body was believed to have been found by a friend after losing contact with the actor over the weekend. While the cause of death is currently believed to be “natural causes,” Galeota endured a slew of health problems during his life. He had reportedly checked himself into a hospital over the weekend, over abdominal pains, but checked himself out early in spite of doctor’s wishes. Beyond that, in his short lifetime, he also endured hypertension, high cholesterol, and diverticulitis, which is an inflammation of the digestive tract.
There is a GoFundMe page that is meant to help Galeota’s loved ones pay for the funeral expenses. The page overs this among a fraction of the condolences, “Although his life was short, we are grateful and appreciate the experience of having been loved, and loved him in return, and for being in our lives. In our hearts and souls, he will always be with us.”