Actress Stevie Ryan, who found fame with her YouTube series “Little Loca” and by doing celebrity impressions, died Saturday at her California home.
The L.A. County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a suicide. She was 33.
Ryan also co-hosted a podcast about depression called “Mentally Ch(ill).” She revealed in last week’s episode, “Death, Grieving & Lithium,” that her grandfather died on Thursday.
“I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression,” Ryan reportedly said during the podcast with co-host Kristen Carney.
She grieved publicly over her grandfather’s death on Instagram, where she wrote: “My dream man who I will only see in my dreams. I’ll meet you in Percebo, soon. I love you my Papa.”
Entertainment writers have noted over the years how Ryan recognized YouTube’s potential in its young days.
The native of Victorville, Calif., was auditioning for acting gigs in Los Angeles when she found the channel “back before Google took it over and when the biggest video had maybe, like, 300 views,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012.
“I had realized that people were putting these videos up themselves, and it was so new then that I was like ‘What? This is so weird.’
“And then I realized, wait, my boyfriend at the time had a little camera and I realized on my laptop that I had an editing thing and I thought, ‘Oh, I can do a little movie too.’”
She started doing celebrity impressions on YouTube – Amy Winehouse, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian among her most memorable – and in 2012 landed a VH1 sketch series, “Stevie TV,” which was canceled after its second season.
She also co-hosted Brody Jenner’s E! relationship talk show “Sex With Brody.”
On Monday, Entertainment Weekly posted Ryan’s most “notable” videos, including these two.
News of her death trended on Twitter much of Monday, with fans expressing shock that she took her own life and friends publicly berating themselves for not spending more time with her. The coroner’s office said Ryan hanged herself.
Many people tweeted this same message: If you suffer from depression, please reach out and seek help.