How did Charles Criss die? 'Glee' star Darren Criss 'heartbroken' after older brother dies

How did Charles Criss die? 'Glee' star Darren Criss 'heartbroken' after older brother dies
Darren Criss (L) mourns the death of his older brother Charles (R) (Darren Criss/Instagram)

Darren Criss is mourning the death of his older brother, Charles aka Chuck who took his own life last week. The 'Glee' star, 35, took to Instagram on Wednesday, March 2, to share the heartbreaking news that his 36-year-old brother had recently died by suicide, weeks after battling "a severe depression" that he concealed from his loved ones. Charles Criss was a Freelance Whales musician 

"It breaks my heart beyond measure to say that my beloved brother Charles has left us," wrote Darren in a lengthy tribute alongside family photos and pictures of his brother. "Obviously this is a colossal shock. His loss leaves behind a debilitating fracture in the lives of his mother, his brother, his three small children, and their respective mothers." The actor shared that for the last several years, his brother had "struggled to find stability during an unfortunate rough patch" in his life. Recently, Michael Madsen was in shock over his son Hudson's suicide he had revealed how his 'son was humiliated for seeking help'. 


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"Despite our very vocal concerns about his well-being, and his protestations that everything was fine, it's crushing to say now that Chuck clearly has had a severe depression welling up in him for some time", the actor shared. "A depression that was only outmatched by his all-too-incredible ability to conceal it. Not just from the world at large, but most tragically, from the people who were closest to him." The 35-year-old added, "We will never know just how long he was fighting this war within himself. But last week, it consumed him fully, and he succumbed by taking his own life."

The actor then took the opportunity to raise awareness about mental health. "I would encourage everyone struggling to land on a simple answer to realize that serious matters of mental health do not yield simple, convenient answers", Darren wrote. "Allowing oneself to be vulnerable and open about any weakness is in fact an admirable display of strength, and the best first step anyone can take on the road to recovery." The 35-year-old urged, "Seeking professional counseling and support is a wonderful way to help you see just how abundantly love is available to you. There is simply too much love readily available in this world to lose sight of that."


Darren remembering his late brother wrote, "There was something so disarming about his mild manner that you couldn't help but feel affectionate towards him. He also happened to be a total goofball, which made him all the more lovable. Being silly was one of his greatest love languages. While he may have given off the impression that he wasn't particularly outspoken, he would nonetheless, time after time, deliver the most wickedly funny lines that could cut a room in half with his equally impressive timing - which was almost always immediately followed by a bursting, boisterous laugh so infectious, it instantly made whatever was initially funny even funnier."

Darren ending his note wrote, "While it was a lapse in Chuck's mental wellness that took him, it is simply not something that can define who he was. All of the wonderful, inspiring, positive things about his life far outshine the circumstances by which it came to an end." He added, "Chuck Criss was vibrant, special, worldly, hilariously, insightful, gifted, intelligent, celebrated and adored. He was a good man with a good heart who contributed enormous amounts of laughter, music, and joy to the world. And for the ones who were lucky enough to take part in those wonderful moments, it's marvelous to know that those memories are plentiful, everlasting, and can never be taken away."

Chuck was a musician who performed in groups with and without his brother. A founding member of indie group Freelance Whales, he and Darren started off making garage rock music in high school before forming the duo Computer Games.

Shortly after Darren's heartbreaking tribute, comments of love and support for the actor began to flood in from his friends including felloe 'Glee' co-stars. Lea Michele wrote, "Love you Darren. We will miss you Chuck. [heart emoji]." Max Adler commented, "My gosh man. My heart is broken. I am so so sorry for you, your family, and his. In tears." Kristin Chenoweth added, "Darren. What an amazing man he was! I'm sending you my deepest condolences. I know the pain of what you're feeling. And yet we all must celebrate his life! I love you kiddo." Jenna Ushkowitz, Matthew Morrison and Kevin McHale have also sent their condolences.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

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