Jack Burns, a child actor who appeared on TV shows In Plain Sight and Retribution, has died at age 14. Burns, dubbed “the next Billy Elliot,” was found dead at his Greenock, Inverclyde home in Scotland. Authorities told Metro U.K. they are not treating his death as suspicious, but the cause has not been revealed.
Burns was an exceptional ballet dancer and a member of the Elite Academy of Dance. He earned a spot at the prestigious Glasgow Ballet School when he was just 9 years old. The Academy confirmed his death in a statement on Monday.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we write this post. Tragically as you know we lost our much loved student Jack Burns on Sunday 1st of December,” Elite Academy wrote on Facebook. “Jack was an inspiration to everyone at Elite and touched the hearts of everyone who had the pleasure of working and dancing with him since 2012. We and all of Jacks family and friends are naturally completely devastated and at a loss for words and answers.”
Burns is survived by his parents, Karen and Robert, and his brother Rory. Rory Burns is also an actor and appeared on two episodes Outlander as younger Roger Wakefield. A public funeral service will take place on Thursday.
"Jacks family wish to let everyone know that his funeral service will be at at 10.00 am at St Mary's Church, Patrick Street, Greenock, on Thursday 12th December," Elite Academy wrote. "Karen, Robert and Rory would love if those from his Elite Family that knew and loved Jack as much as they all do wanted to attend. They would also take much comfort if students wish to attend in Alba or Elite Hoodies and sit together on Thursday. Our studio will be open at 9.00 am on Thursday for those wishing to attend."
The post concluded, "All our thoughts and prayers at this time are with Jacks immediate family and friends but especially with his parents Karen, Robert and his brother Rory."
Condolences from the community have been pouring in on Facebook.
"We were so devastated to hear this news about Jack. He was such a talented boy in all areas of his life and such a lovely handsome boy," one person wrote.
"So loved and missed!" another added.
"A tragic loss of a beautiful and talented boy. Our warmest condolences to his family. Rest in peace," one woman wrote.
"Sad to hear of the loss of this talented young man. Thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this difficult time. May he rest in peace," shared someone else.
Burns also played rugby and football. Father Thomas Boyle, priest of St Mary's Church where the funeral service will take place, told The Daily Mail, "This is a tragedy for the family which is inexplicable."
"Everyone will be at the funeral tomorrow to support Karen, Robert and his brother Rory," he shared. "Everything he participated in so well in his life will be there, from the ballet school, his rugby club and the people he played football with. Everyone's absolutely devastated by what's happened."
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