8 Mile Actor De’Angelo Wilson dead in apparent suicide

De’Angelo Wilson, a 29 year-old actor who had parts in 8 Mile, Antwone Fisher and The Salon, was found dead in what looks to be a suicide in a commercial building in Los Angeles. His family didn’t have enough money to send his body to Dayton, Ohio, and his friends including Antwone Fisher made sure he was able to be transported home for a funeral. His mother said the last time she had spoken to him was about six weeks ago. He was having trouble finding work and was depressed:

When Los Angeles police found De’Angelo Wilson’s body in the back room of a Wilshire Boulevard business, he was classified a transient, “but was well known to the people in the area,” said L.A. County coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey.

Authorities were able to contact Gina White, a producer who had worked with Wilson on the 2002 film “Antwone Fisher,” and who had become close to him — “I kind of adopted him, almost like a son,” she said. “He didn’t talk much about where he came from, or his childhood. When I found out what happened, I made a lot of phone calls — he had a lot of friends. We were desperate to find his family — his friends in California were ready and more than willing to take responsibility, to have a memorial service. But I couldn’t stand the thought of somebody out there not knowing what had happened to their loved one.

“I remember him talking about doing something with the mayor of Dayton,” White recalled, so she searched the Internet for clues.

Wilson’s hometown mayor had, in fact, honored Wilson in September 2002 with a day in his honor and a key to the city, holding him up as an example of a young person “who did not give up on his dream and who worked hard to achieve great things,” said Mayor Rhine McLin at the time.

With that information guiding her searches, White eventually stumbled on a DaytonDailyNews.com story about Wilson’s suicide, published Friday, Dec. 5, the day after his mother had been contacted by authorities.

“I’d prayed the night before over this, and my prayers were answered,” White said. “His family doesn’t have to worry about getting him home — we’ll take care of it.”

The friends include Antwone Fisher, whose own story of overcoming a nightmarish childhood became a movie, directed by Denzel Washington.

“He was such a fun and funny guy,” said Fisher. “I’d have backyard parties and De’Angelo would always come an hour early to help me set up. He’d tell great jokes … It’s just real hard to think of a guy that happy and fun getting down so low.”

“He got depressed,” said Wilson’s mother, Debra. “His career kind of failed, and I think he was beating himself up. Things were real down and he just didn’t know how to pick himself up.” His most recent roles were in 2005’s “The Salon” and “Mercy Street” in 2006.

Wilson attended Dunbar High School, dropped out, earned a GED, and was taking acting classes at Kent State University when he was cast in “8 Mile.” He was on a roll, it seemed, until the bottom dropped out and the acting parts were few and far between.

“I talked to him about a month and a half ago,” said his mother. “He wasn’t good … I was real worried about him.”

[From Dayton Daily News]

This story really affected me and I’m getting weepy over it. I enjoyed 8 Mile but I haven’t seen it since it was out and don’t particularly remember this guy. I’m remembering the message in Antwone Fischer and what a moving film that was. What makes this sad is that he was a young guy from Ohio trying to make it in LA and he felt like he had no other options. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

In the trailer for Antwone Fisher there’s a brief scene with Wilson at about 2:19. He can be seen in the 8 Mile trailer around the 2 minute mark. He’s the guy in the middle in a still from the film, below, and is also shown in the back of the car.

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60 Responses to “8 Mile Actor De’Angelo Wilson dead in apparent suicide”

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  1. yadira says:

    Awww, poor guy. RIP

  2. Syko says:

    I’m so sorry. I haven’t the faintest idea who he is, but to be so down that you’d see no hope at all – that’s tragic.

  3. mel says:

    Wow that’s sad. I’ve been depressed but not to the point where I wanted to end my life. I guess failure can really difficult to deal with.

    Anyway my sympathy goes out to his family.

  4. bitme says:

    Most people just think about the bright lights and heaps of money when you mention Hollywood. This is a good example of the darker side of Hollywood. RIP.

  5. MoJo says:

    The poor guy. I had never seen any of his movies, but it’s always very sad when someone who had such big dreams felt so low that they thought there was no other option.

    What’s really hitting me extra hard about this is that he was taking classes at my alma mater when he got 8 Mile (probably no more than a year or two before I attended there). It just makes it feel closer to home.

  6. The Old KC says:

    8 Mile is a great movie. Probably ranks somewhere in my top 100 films of all time. This is very sad news and my prayers go out to this young man and his family and friends. Makes me wish he’d had other options or someone there to lead or mentor him away from acting and on to something else. So many other things he could have done with his life that would have been worthwhile…God bless.

  7. jay says:

    i feel sori 4 da guys family….it gets to a point in ones life were u just dont wanna live anymore… god bless him

  8. Ron says:

    This IS Hollywood. This is a TOUGH, UNFORGIVING town. You really do need balls of steel to be here and work in entertainment, especially above the line. It’s brutal, you WILL be told you are too fat, thin, tall, short, your hair color is wrong, you aren’t attractive enough, your too attractive, I have heard all of these things and more barked at my face. You also need to have something to focus on other than your acting when you are starting. You need friends, family, relationships, a hobby. etc etc. When I first got here it was so hard, I had no money and ate rice and eggs for months. I still work occasionally as an actor, but have found more joy in writing. I truly feel for this guy but totally understand how this happens.

  9. Kristin says:

    Very very sad. :[

  10. Christina says:

    man how sad. how do you not talk to your mother for a month and a half though? this may just be me, but i talk to my parents almost daily… and to not have enough money to transport his body? they couldn’t figure anything out? i dunno, sounds a bit like his family neglected him on top of the hardships…

    i did catch the salon recently on BET though… i believe he plays a gay hairdresser… i do recall him from that…

    • Just to let you know hon I knew his lil sister well and yes their were hardships. Their mother had nine children and most adopted out that I know of. His one younger sister and lil brother I knew were adopted. Just a hard time for the family. As His sister died of an overdose not long after he died. It was hard on my family for she called me mom and my daughters considered her as their sister. I met their mother at the funeral of Deangelo at his sister Vanies funeral and she was a very nice woman.

  11. chick says:

    this is a problem of poverty, both his and his family’s. being Black and poor in LA is hell. all of the people caring for him now that he is dead could have been more there for him when he was alive. i’m sure they wish they had. he needed their sympathy and assistance then, not now.

  12. tam says:

    i know this is really sad. I too fail to understand how he hadn’t spoken to his mother in so long…it just seems like he was so alone and thats enough to drive anybody mad. Even though he may not have felt like it, God however was with him and my praeyers go to his family and friends xxx

  13. aleach says:

    hey, im from dayton too.
    that is so sad though. i really hate hearing about things like this… 😥

  14. daisy424 says:

    Aleach, I live in Medina. 🙂
    Are you still in Ohio?

  15. My sympathies to the bereaved. Suicide is painful for all parties involved.

  16. Livia says:

    Christina: it may sound to you like there was some familial neglect, but I doubt it very much. I spent many, many years trying to make it (in NYC) as an actor, and it was financially and emotionally draining. However, I always managed to make it sound to my family like everything was ok, and that “things” were about to happen. They never knew how precarious my life and mental health sometimes were. But believe me, it’s demoralizing to admit to your parents and friends that you’ve wasted a good chunk of your life on an unobtainable dream – because to do that, you have to admit it yourself. I imagine if he’d called his family and asked to come home, they would have welcomed him – and there were moments in my life when I wanted to do just that. The only difference between him and me is that I finally admitted to myself that I would never make it as an actor, sucked it up, and took a job in retail to pay the rent. I’m sorry he made the choices he did, but as a former actor, I can understand them (and yes, that frightens me).

    FYI, I first saw him on season two of Bravo’s “The IT Factor” – he was one of nine actors featured in the series as being on the “cusp” of fame. Like everyone else on the show, he was both full of the hope that he’d succeed and full of the fear that he would disappear into the void. It’s a shame the latter happened to him, and not the former.

  17. aleach says:

    @ daisy, no im not in ohio anymore…atlanta now. but i grew up in norwalk ohio…wow, we were practically neighbors! 😆

  18. peter says:

    chick – what does race have to do with something of this magnitude?

  19. erin says:

    christina and tam – sometimes, especially when you are down and depressed you can’t face talking to your family. his mom may have called him more recently but not gotten an answer. i can’t think that someone who is suicidal would pick up the phone much. when you are far away from your family and looking for work, then it may have been normal for them to go for a while without talking.

    this is really sad. i hate to see young people who feel they have no options. i hope he has peace now.

  20. RAN says:

    He may not have had the money to call home. Think about it, he appeared to be a transient… maybe he practically was. Without a fixed address, he couldn’t have a phone; without a job, he didn’t have money; with pride… he didn’t have much else. Poor guy – I wish he’d found a better way.

    RIP Deangelo – I wish you peace for all eternity.

  21. mia16 says:

    I knew De’Angelo from Kent State. I just wanted to put it our there that he may have been more alone than anyone realizes, family wise anyways. He was basically raised in foster care, and despite having a lot of brothers and sisters, I’m pretty sure he was not in contact with them. At least he hasn’t been since i’
    ve known him. My heart breaks over this. He was a great guy, funny, talented, seemed like he could do anything. I’m so shocked by this.

    • You are so right.The closest thing to the situation.You know about what I know.The only difference we had his sister as a real sister in our family.They were all loved just a large family and hardships.No doubt he was loved.Had he had made it REAL BIG?His mother would have never wanted for anythibg. She sholud be so proud.How many peoples children get to perform in Eight Mile? With a famous rapper?WOW!Take Care!

  22. Mikko Locke says:

    My dear friend De’Angelo was a great guy. I remember meeting him back in 2003 at Miyagi’s in Hollywood. It was then where we became great friends & I took him under my wing. Our friendship flourished from that point. I took him camping with my family, he came to my home and ate dinner with us. No matter what,whenever I was down he was there to lift my spirits. D was an incredibly funny guy. He had a lot going for him and he had great ideas. Whenever I performed on stage, De’Angelo was my hype man. 🙁 He was the sweetest, craziest, funniest, friendliest guy you would ever want to know.
    He was always at every show that I performed at. He like everyone else had problems from his childhood to his adult life. We sat and talked intimately about everything bothering him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but I held him like a little brother & tried to help him get through his state of mind.

    The type of person he was? A few years ago he took me to dinner for new years eve and after dinner he took me to church at the forum in Inglewood.
    We had a ball. There are so many memories of my friend. I could go on & on. It hurts my heart to fly back home & hear that my good friend has committed the ultimate sin.

    R.I.P. “D” I will forever love you & keep you in my memory.

    Mikko The Songstress

  23. Terry Christiano says:

    This is the most unsettling news ever…

    I too knew De’Angelo (we met on the set of “The Salon.”) Wow, what a talented and a special guy. He was funny and had a lot going for himself. We grew closer upon return our return to Los Angeles. I too have so many memories of De’Angelo.

    Although I had not spoken to him lately, I thought of him often. He phoned me some time ago to say he needed new headshots and wanted me to shoot him. We didn’t shoot but I had heard he did a one man show and I understand it was truly incredible. I thought to myself, things must be going well for D.

    We all know this town can be a lot of things and far more for some of us to handle. I don’t know for sure if he reached out before making such a fatal decision, maybe he didn’t. I am so very sad that I will never see De’Angelo again.

    Rest in peace angel…

    Terry Christi

  24. Kay says:


  25. Mike E says:

    Aww wow..I’m truly saddened by this unfortunate news. I’ll always remember his role in the classic movie “8mile”. He did a superb job.

  26. Kyla Womack says:

    I’ll always remember the time De’Angelo mailed me my residual check (I worked with him on the movie “8mile”) that accidentally went to his address lol! He’d written a little note saying what happened and signed off with his number and a “God bless”. This is an example of what a thoughtful and genuinely caring guy he was. HE WAS A CHILD OF GOD, so I have no doubt that he is at peace now with our Creator.

    R.I.P my dear friend,
    Kyla (your friend from “8mile”)

  27. Harrenda says:

    To Livia,

    Although De’Angelo may no longer be with us on earth..he by no means has “disappeared into the void! How could you say something so insensitive?? He did a great job in “8mile”, which is a CLASSIC MOVIE! Not to mention his wonderful performance in “Salon”!! He had potential to do more but at least we have the work he did to always remember him by!!

    It sounds to me like your bitter a@s needs to disappear into the void!

  28. Braheem wahid says:

    Look guys, my name is braheem wahid and d ‘angelo kevin wilson was my friend. I was just surfing on the computer a couple of hours ago to find how he was doin in his career(considering i havent seen him since he was at kent) and i come across that my friend,brother and mentor killed himself.(crying) i dont think you guys reALLY KNOW HOW I FEEL RITE NOW i am truly hurt and i dont even know when or where his funeral is. i miss my friend..and yea d’angelo i will follow my dreams i love you so much.Braheem

    • Yes he was awesome! I met him at his sisters funeral in Dayton,Ohio.I had the oppurtunity to give him a poem his lil sis wrote in church.I had kept it for years.He was so thankful.what a sweet young-man!

  29. Mikko Locke says:

    De’Angelo Ke’Shawn Wilson’s funeral will be held Wednesday, December 17th at 1pm in Dayton Ohio.

    Email for more info: http://www.mikkothesongstress@hotmail.com

  30. Scott says:

    i met Deangelo at a party in Kent ohio.we were playing music and Deangelo jumped on the mic and immediately started serenading a lovely young lady.we started a band rite away and were just getting our shit together when he got cast in 8 mile and Antwon fisher.i only saw him a few times after that.He was very driven and very confident.and while he butted heads with some people.Him and i always got along great and i always respected him and his vibrant personality.
    Rest Peacefully De’angelo!

  31. Brian says:

    RIP bro…. we will miss you

  32. Ebony says:

    I have known De’Angelo since middle school and one thing I can say from expierence is that we NEVER know what type of demons one is fighting we have so many strong holds and principalities we are fighting against on a daily basis so the advice I have for the rich and the poor, black and white is that we need to get it together as a country stop being so nasty it is with love and kindness that GOD expects us to be towards one another. We get tired of carrying the burdens of our brothers and sister but again it is what is expected. Wouldn’t you have appreciated being able to help your brother and it not have ended in death but hope that things will get better.

    We need to pray daily without ceasing we are living in our last days you know don’t get so consumed in oh my God what happened. Pray for his family pray for the children that may be living the same type of childhood that De’Angelo expierenced.

    Let this be a lesson that we need to stretch out our arms and JUST LOVE LOVE LOVE AND PRAY PRAY PRAY it disturbs my spirit when I read things that people say it is like you open your mouth befroe thinking. Think before you at as we will all be held acountable for our actions.

    One Love for all those out there doing the thing and those that may be struggling know that troubles don’t last always and JOY comes in the morning just hold on and stand on the word of God because all is well in my father’s house and his word say that he will NEVER leave us nor forsake us be BLESSED

  33. Ebony says:

    it’s real life

  34. Curtis Williams says:

    we grew up in the same neighborhood and attended Central State U together in 2000. that was my boy. we used to stay up all night eating ramen noodles and talk about what we were gonna do in the future. i KNEW he would make it in acting. he was determined to make it.

    we all called him Spam(inside thing)and he managed to influence everybody he was around. damn……this has me really messed up right now.

    R.I.P Spam. the world lost one of the great ones.

  35. romello jackson says:

    dang dlo i wished u didnt do that da family at home was waitig on you but we are still here for you so me and da family hope you rest in peace.

  36. Nikki says:

    Curtis my heart goes out to you. I’m so sad for this young man because he was trying so hard. Young people please understand when one door closes –God has many options for you –we have to believe in ourselves and know that we need a game plan. I wish De’Angelo would have seek help before killing himself this is not the answer. We have to place trust in God and believe in ourselves. All of us dream big because we want the best but we also fall down on our journey but we have to stay strong and get back up.

    I think he just had the urge to succeed in this business and lost his way. My heart goes out to his Mother and other family members also.


  37. christie says:

    To george(curtis)…wow baby the last time i saw u we had a long talk about de’ i just saw his movie “salon” today. He was awesome its really sad that this happened to ur family.He truly was a great person inside and out I wish there were something I could do.I’d like to send a donation or flowers let me know where to send them u got my email…christielesley54@yahoo.com…I hope all is well with u and ur family again I am sorry 4 ur loss….love yah

  38. CAT WILSON says:



    • Hey Cat,This Teres.Alicia Quillens mom.Seen you at Neahs funeral.What a small world it is we thought then.How you and Alicia had known each-other.Yor brother was very sweet to me when I gave him the poem your sis had wrote five yrs earlier.Write back and I would like for ypou and Alicia to exchange numbers.And to me at the funeral he seemed in the best spirits for what he was going through.Only you would know more than me or any FRIEND on here!Hope your well honey,Teresa

    • Scout says:

      I mean….ok. Dang.

  39. Christina says:

    Oh my gosh wow. His dad was my subsitute last week in school and he was talking so greatly about his son that was an actor but he never mentioned that he was dead or gave the slightest hint he was dead. thats so sad.

  40. Latrice Moss says:

    I am absolutely blown away! Deangelo was my boy. We went to UC together and became good friends. We lost touch and only a spoke a few time since he moved to cali. I have nothing but good memories of Deangelo. We spent many late nights reminiscin about our shared troubled childhood. I can’t believe I am just now finding out about this. I am absolutely shocked! Deangelo Keshawn Wilson may you rest in peace!

  41. Cami says:

    Its so sad when you hear stories like this about people who are from where your from, I didnt know De’Angelo personally, but I was a fan of his. He’s from dayton like me && he went to the same high school I currently go to now..! its just sad… but may he rest in peace && I send all my love && condolences 2 his family..! may god be with them && De’Angelo’s spirit..!

  42. To the real family member on here.Your so so right ,Id say maybe,thats maybe “one” of these plp knew the the real D’Angelo.Now I do know the sister Vania(which i know im spelling wrong)!lol:)That you and your family buried.She was a very good friend more like a sister to my daughter Ashley Quillen,Amber and Alicia and I were also close to her.I had a poem that she wrote 5 yrs ago (actually longer now)that I had kept and kept.The day of the funeral I was so very blessed to give that to D’Angelo.I will never forget the the tear or the smile he gave me.Vania was like a sister(she thought she was white hahaah) to my grls and another sister(Kat) knew my youngest Alicia..aka Lil Q.My heart is torn for your mother.For all that she endures.8 children is a family.And for whatever reasons D decided to take his life,He was under a tremendous amount of pain.im sure some stemming from childhood.Atleast I know my children have endured and still are as adults by decisions I and their dad made when they were young.There is not one thing we can do to change the past.Only forgiven by God and by the Grace of God we remain family.For whatever reason he is gone by presence,I believe God looks at the heart.And I see him and Nea up there dancing(something else our grly loved):)….Please contact us at 580-5933.Is this Cat that wrote?Bless your mother
    Debra and all the family and may God be with all of you.Love for you all,Teresa Ciambro

  43. I did see that it was you Cat.Alicia would love to hear from you.To this day Ashley still cries for Nea.She misses her tremendously.Her myspace always has Nea in it.Like I said you r right.You are blood to D and Nea and know more than anyone but God about him.I am so happy i never threw that poem away.There is a reason 4 everything under the sun.My heart is with you all,Teresa

  44. Man my heart is crying out for the family!Will D’s death bring life to others under lifes ups and downs?D’Angelo was a smart,bright,good lookin young man.Being in a movie with Eminem is something to be very proud of.He made alot of great accomplishments in such a short period of time of his short life.It goes to show that there is no mountain high enough that we can not reach our dreams!No dream is unatainble!Just because he decided he could not live this life on earth will no one but D and God ever know.Lets CELEBRATE his short yet victorious life!He should be someone that we look up to other than taking his life.And really for that reason too.Lets all do some soul arching and then speak on our opinions.Thanks,Teresa

  45. Mikko Locke says:

    Today, we are still recovering from the tragic loss of our family member, De’angelo K. Wilson. But I am glad to announce that there will be a new addition to the Wilson Family in March 2010. Very close to our loved ones Birthday. God is Good!

    Please keep us in your prayers.

  46. Elizabeth Rochford says:

    I just heard about De’Angelo’s suicide. I was friends with him at Kent State…I had helped him start an improv group there, and he had put on some one-man shows. I was immediately taken with his energy and great attitude and knew from our first meeting that I had to be friends with him. He was always smiling and positive. He cracked me up. I just can’t believe he would commit suicide…it doesn’t reflect the person I knew. I thought he was a wonderful human being and whatever demons he was struggling with for a brief moment, it is not anything like the person I knew and I’m sure most people knew.
    For one of his Kent State shows that he wrote, acted in and directed, the publicity tag line was “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll never be the same”…De’Angelo, you were so right. You will be missed.

  47. Robert Gunn says:

    This is depressing to me because I actually know this guy, and he was such an inspiration to alot of people from his home town (Dayton, Ohio). Just a guy making it to L.A from small Dayton is a great accomplishment, and I plan to pick up where he left off in his honor. RIP HOME BOY!!!!

  48. jemia says:


  49. jemia says:


  50. Jake says:

    Hi guys. I know D’eAngelo is a great guy and apparently, he has been inspiration for many people around him. I’m an astrologer and I want to check his chart. Do any of you guys know his birth time?

  51. Angelo says:

    I am truly crushed!! It is always extremely difficult to digest when someone so kind, talented, and loved could find themselves in such a terrible state of mind to believe that the only way out is to commit suicide. Mr. Wilson will certainly be missed not only by family, but by a host of his fans and friends.

    I can only offer my deepest sympathy and condolence to his family, and offer this for them to meditate on and find strength: Please consider the bible book of John 5:28, 29 which reads…”Do not marvel at this (Death) because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his (Jesus) voice and come out.”

    Though De’Angelo has fallen asleep in death, he will be ressurected to life. He will then learn of the despair and heartache those who loved and missed him so profoundly, suffered after learning he was gone from before us.

    May he rest in peace until he rises again…

  52. Adelaida Renison says:

    Ashley, you are so immature…I’m glad that you are loosing weight and everything but really now bikini pics? You had a daughter have some respect….you can show of your body some other way!!! Yeah, people might say that you are young and so on. But, show so maturity this pictures and post are of a 15 year and no of some one your and situation.

  53. Kia says:

    He was my favorite guy in 8 mile. Still Iz.