Panettiere family remembers late actor Jansen, says he died from enlarged heart

The actor died suddenly on Feb. 19.

February 27, 2023, 6:02 AM

Jansen Panettiere's family, including his sister Hayden, is remembering the late actor a week after he died suddenly at just 28 years old.

"Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit," his family, including his mother Lesley Vogel, father Skip Panettiere and sister, "Scream VI" star Hayden Panettiere, said in a statement to ABC News.

The family added, "His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered."

The family also said in its statement that Jansen died from an enlarged heart.

"Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen's sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications," the family said.

Panettiere was known for his voice acting roles in "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and "The X's" as well as on-screen roles in the Nickelodeon film "The Last Day of Summer" and the AMC series "The Walking Dead."

Actors Hayden Panettiere (R) and brother Jansen Panettiere arrive at the 2013 Environmental Media Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on Oct. 19, 2013 in Burbank, Calif.
Gregg Deguire/WireImage, FILE

"We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning," the family said. "We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever."

Jansen Panettiere was a talented artist, posting much of his work on Instagram. He had also just shared a photo of his sister, who is five years older, cutting his hair a few weeks before his death.

Following in his older sister's footsteps, he tried his hand at acting, getting his first television role in the hit Disney Channel show "Even Stevens."

Panettiere later appeared in several TV shows and alongside his sister in the 2004 Disney Channel movie "Tiger Cruise."

His last television role was in an episode of "The Walking Dead" in 2019, when he portrayed Casper, a member of the Hilltop Colony.