Stephen M. Silverman
August 25, 1998 12:00 AM

Rising film star Justin Pierce, 25, who appeared in the 1995 independent movie “Kids,” apparently hanged himself in his room at Las Vegas’s Bellagio Hotel on Monday, a day before the New York premiere of his latest movie. Las Vegas police told New York’s Daily News that hotel guards entered Pierce’s room and found his body. No motive has been reported. Pierce, who won an Independent Spirit Award for his role as Casper in “Kids,” went on to make 1997’s “A Brother’s Kiss,” with John Leguizamo and Rosie Perez, and “Next Friday,” which he had been in the gambling capitol to promote. His latest film, “Pigeon Holed,” costars “Sex and the City”‘s Chris Noth and Rosanna Arquette, and featured Pierce as an 18-year-old who is sent to a drug rehab clinic for rich kids. The Tuesday New York premiere of that film went on as scheduled, reports the News, which quotes its director, Michael Swanhaus, as being “just shocked” over Pierce’s death.

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