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Actor Leo O’Brien, star of the cult classic ‘The Last Dragon”, died today. He was 41 years old.
The cause of death was not released, but a close friend of O’Brien, Taimak Guarriello, said “he’s been having a little problem.”
“He’s been through a lot of tough times,” Guarriello said. “It’s unfortunate.”
O’Brien played Leroy’s little brother Richie Green in the martial arts film.
Many will recall that O’Brien was shot three times in Harlem in September of 2011 over an argument about a chair. The shooter had been sitting in the chair and when he got up, O’Brien sat down. The shooter returned to the chair and wanted his seat back, and when O’Brien refused to give back the seat, he was shot. The shooter, Travis Breckenridge, was charged with attempted murder.
After the 2011 shooting, O’Brien said, ”I was in intensive care but just for one day. I’m a fast healer – kind of a mutant….I’ve been told if this had happened to someone else, they’d be dead.”
“The second bullet hit me in the stomach,” he said. “I knew then it was a real gun….The third bullet hit me in the arm.”
The former actor said he ran a small music studio and owned a convenience store in Harlem. But O’Brien had a criminal record which included charges for assault and battery.
Members of his family said he had been in failing health recently. A cause of death has not been announced, but an autopsy is scheduled.