By// Deanna Martin
Actor Leo O’Brien, best known for his role as Richie Green, the spunky little brother in the 1985 film The Last Dragon, died in New York yesterday. He was 41.
Most recently, O’Brien had been trying to restart his acting career, having last appeared on the big screen in New Jack City (1991).
Taimak Guarriello, who starred as Bruce Leroy in The Last Dragon, took to his Facebook fan page to pay tribute to his friend yesterday. The actor/martial artist recalled O’Brien’s memorable performance in the cult classic action-comedy that also starred Denise Matthews (formerly known as Vanity). “[Leo] gave us a great performance. Being a young star… isn’t easy to say the least. Please remember him for the laughs and smiles he gave you. And please send out your deepest prayers for his family.”
Guarriello and O’Brien had been working together on a short independent film written and directed by Guarriello titled I’ve Seen Things.
“Leo had such a wonderful spirit,” wrote Guarriello.
O’Brien’s cause of death had not been released. As of press time, the autopsy was inconclusive and a toxicology report is pending.