The cause of death for Jansen Panettiere has been identified. A statement from the actor’s family confirmed he died from an enlarged heart. “Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” his family — mother Lesley Vogel, father Alan Lee “Skip” Panettiere Panettiere and sister Hayden Panettiere — said in a statement shared with PEOPLE.
“Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit,” the family continued. “His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered.”
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The statement concluded, “We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning. We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.”
On Presidents Day weekend, the actor, Hayden’s younger brother, and a Nashville star was discovered dead in New York. He was 28.
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A buddy of Jansen informed police in a police report that he had checked on Jansen at his residence after he had missed a business meeting. Upon arrival, finding him “sitting upright in a chair unresponsive,” first responders were called. They eventually pronounced him dead.
The report also noted that Jansen’s dad, Skip, had spoken to his son on the phone just the night before, and thought he “sounded okay.”
Jansen, who was five years younger than Hayden, also worked in Hollywood. He appeared on shows like Even Stevens, The X’s, Tiger Cruise, Racing Stripes, The Martial Arts Child, The Walking Dead, Perfect Game, and How High 2 throughout the early 2000s. He would make his final screen appearance in the holiday movie Love and Love Not in 2022.
He was passionate about art in addition to acting. He continued to post vibrant photographs and abstract artwork on Instagram, and some of his works were later printed on items of clothing and footwear that were offered for sale.