The Tragic Death Of Luke Westlake – Nicki Swift

Actor Luke Westlake, known for his role in the BBC drama Luther, died by suicide in June 2020 during the throes of the COVID-19 lockdown, according to The Sun. Westlake, who was 26 years old at the time of his tragic death, was just getting started in his career after graduating from ArtsEd drama school in Chiswick, West London, in 2017. 

“Today we pay tribute to Luke Westlake, BA Acting 2017 graduate. A passionate individual, creative soul and brilliant actor, we are immensely saddened to hear of his death,” the school tweeted at the time of his death. “Our thoughts and love are with his family and all his friends.”  

A JustGiving page was created in his honor, stating, “He had early successes in his first year after leaving Arts Ed, appearing in Luther, Dark Heart, No Offence and Doctors. He had so much talent and so much more to give and it is devastating to us all that sadly he shortened his life.”

The statement continued, “Those of you who knew Luke well will know he battled with his emotions and we wish to raise awareness of mental health issues within acting and the performing arts and to bring to the forefront of people’s minds how deeply troubled young minds can be.” Now, months after his suicide, we are learning more details about his passing. Keep scrolling for more insight into Westlake’s tragic death.

Luke Westlake had a promising career before his death

In the days after Luke Westlake died, a postmortem examination concluded the cause of death as a hanging, according to The Sun. “He had threatened to take his life and he had taken cannabis shortly before he died,” assistant coroner Michael Walsh told the actor’s parents Bridgette and Lee Westlake. “He had a history of anxiety and depression and substantial misuse by way of alcohol and cannabis, used as a coping mechanism.” 

The coroner was also informed that the actor had attempted suicide in April 2020, and another time in June of that year, before texting his ex-girlfriend Hannah Llewelyn “threatening to kill himself” before he was “found dead” the following day. “Luke found it difficult to deal with stressful triggers — his relationship and his employment. It was noted that it was not uncommon for him to threaten to harm himself — such an occasion occurred on June 17.” 

We wish Westlake’s family, friends, and colleagues nothing but love, peace, and clarity as they grapple with this unexpected and difficult loss.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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