Freelance Whales bandmember Chuck Criss dies aged 36

His brother, the actor Darren Criss, pays tribute to his "best friend" who had "struggled to find stability"

Chuck Criss, a multi-instrumentalist who performed in the indie rock band Freelance Whales, has died at the age of 36.

His brother, Glee actor Darren Criss, yesterday (March 2) shared news of his passing, revealing that Chuck had taken his own life after years of “severe depression”.

“I loved my brother so much. And I know he loved me. Right out of the womb, he was my instant, ready-made best friend. And from that moment on, we absolutely loved being together,” Darren wrote in an Instagram post.

“As we got older, music became one of our greatest bonds. As an artist, he possessed a raw, inimitable talent that never ceased to inspire me.”

Elsewhere, Darren described his brother as “wickedly funny” and also remembered him as a doting father who adored his family and friends.

You can read Darren’s tribute in full above.

Chuck was a multi-instrumentalist in the New York band Freelance Whales from 2008-2014. The group released their second and final album, ‘Diluvia’, in 2012.

In 2017 Chuck and Darren joined forces for the project Computer Games and released an EP called ‘Lost Boys Life’

Darren Criss and Chuck Criss
Darren Criss and Chuck Criss pictured in 2017. CREDIT: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Darren continued in his tribute: “The last several years were increasingly difficult for Chuck as he struggled to find stability during an unfortunate rough patch in his life.

“Despite our very vocal concerns about his well-being, and his protestations that everything was fine, it’s crushing to say now that Chuck clearly had had a severe depression welling up in him for some time, a depression that was only worsened by a lifelong struggle he had with expressing his feelings – a dangerous combination truly outmatched by his all-too-incredible ability to conceal it. Not just from the world at large, but most tragically, from the people who were closest to him.”


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