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Regina King's son, Ian Alexander Jr., died on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, TODAY has confirmed. He turned 26 years old two days before on Jan. 19.
The only child of the Oscar-winning actor, she shared him with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. She was married to the record producer for a decade beginning in 1997.
The younger Alexander died by suicide.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement shared with TODAY. “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.”
Tributes starting pouring in on social media after news of his death broke.
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Garcelle Beauvais tweeted, "My heart breaks for you @ReginaKing Ian was sweet & kind."
Marc Lamont Hill wrote, "Sending all of my love and condolences to Regina King. I pray that she’s surrounded by love and healing energy."
Ian Alexander Jr. was often by his mom's side on red carpets for awards shows.
“She’s just a super mom,” he told E! News on the red carpet of the 2019 Golden Globes. “She doesn’t really let bad work days or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It’s really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with.”
In honor of her 50th birthday in 2021, Ian paid homage to his mom by dedicating an Instagram post to her.
"Happy birthday to my co, so extremely proud of you and inspired by your love, artistry and gangsta," he wrote. "To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for. But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for. To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable. The whole marvel universe ain’t got sh-- on you, your the real superhero!"
He signed the sweet post: "Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!"
A few months prior, he shared another Instagram dedicated to his mom. Paired with a throwback photo of him as a child with a friend and his mom by a pool, he simply wrote in the caption, "My joys 🥰."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.