Comedian and actress Stevie Ryan, whose YouTube series ‘Little Loca’ garnered a cult following and marked her rise to fame, took her own life shortly after the death of her beloved grandfather, officials said.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office ruled Saturday that Ryan’s death earlier that day was caused by a suicide by hanging, online records show. She was 33.
Ryan first became known for her work on YouTube, where the Victorville, Calif., native began experimenting with different characters before moving on to celebrity spoofs and parodies.
Her work online paved the way for Stevie TV, her own pop culture sketch series that ran on VH1 from 2012 to 2013.
She also appeared as a co-host of Brody Jenner’s E! series, Sex with Brody.
Ryan most recently co-hosted Mentally Ch(ill), a “podcast about depression,” its iTunes description said.
In an episode released two days before Ryan’s death, she spoke of her grandfather’s death and her concerns surrounding coping with the loss of a close loved one.
“I guess you can never really prepare yourself for death," she said as she began to cry during the episode, which was released Thursday. "I’ve just kind of watched him wither away in the past two weeks and it’s really, really sad to watch someone that you’ve grown up with your entire life and you see as the manliest man ever just slowly deteriorate and it’s actually the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with in my entire life."
She continued, “I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression. Or maybe it’ll take me out of my depression a little bit to see that life is short and that we just don’t actually have as much time as we think we do with people that we love and care about.”
The following day, she posted on Twitter a tribute to her grandfather, writing: “The man of my dreams will now only be in my dreams. I’ll miss you everyday, forever. I love you my Pa.”
News of Ryan’s death left those close to her reeling, and many took to social media to express their condolences and share their memories of the actress.
“RIP @StevieRyan The coolest girl I’ve ever known,” wrote Kristen Carney, co-host of Mentally Ch(ill).
“She was hilarious, vibrant, beautiful, sassy, genuine and unique to the core,” Carney wrote on Instagram. “Very rarely do people make an impact on me let alone the way Stevie did. I’m honored that I got to know her so well and she’ll be with me as I continue to fight to move forward ... She was so, so special. And will be so, so missed.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.