Death of Beverly Hills, 90210 Actor Was Drug-Related

'It breaks my heart to learn that my son died this way,' David Gail's mother says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2024 3:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 27, 2024 2:50 PM CST
UPDATE Feb 27, 2024 2:50 PM CST

The death of actor David Gail, best known for his roles in Beverly Hills, 90210 and General Hospital, was drug-related, his publicist confirmed Tuesday. Linda Brown told NBC News that the 58-year-old's January death was the result of a brain injury linked to use of drugs including cocaine, fentanyl, and amphetamines. "It breaks my heart to learn that my son died this way," his mother, Mary Painter, said in a statement. She said her son "became reliant" on medication after surgeries on his hands and wrists years ago and had been in so much pain he had been unable to work for almost a decade. "Please keep David, and others battling pain or dependence, in your thoughts and prayers," she said.

Jan 22, 2024 3:00 AM CST

The actor who played the fiancé of Shannen Doherty's character, Brenda Walsh, in Beverly Hills, 90210, is dead at age 58. David Gail also starred as Dr. Joe Scanlon in more than 200 episodes of Port Charles, a spinoff of General Hospital, and as Dean Collins on the 1990s WB drama Savannah, People and E! News report. Though not many details are known about Gail's death, his sister, Katie Colmenares, mourned him on Instagram on Saturday. "There's barely been even a day in my life when you were not with me by my side always my wingman always my best friend ready to face anything and anyone w me," she wrote. "I will hold you so tight every day in my heart you gorgeous loving amazing fierce human being missing you every second of every day forever there will never be another."

Originally from Florida, Gail first appeared onscreen in a 1990 episode of Growing Pains before going on to a number of other television credits including appearances on Doogie Howser MD, Murder She Wrote, ER, and JAG. He also appeared in films including Bending All the Rules in 2002, Perfect Opposites in 2004, and The Belly of the Beast in 2008, his last onscreen appearance. His last acting credit was a 2019 voiceover role in the adventure video game Blacksad: Under the Skin. (More celebrity death stories.)

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