It appears Dennis Franz has been seen in California for the first time since the death of his son, Austin Majors, in February.
The beloved NYPD Blue actor, 78, looked unrecognizable while having lunch with his wife, Joanie Zeck, at Pan e Vino in Montecito.
The actor opted for a dressy look for the afternoon, wearing a navy blazer with a red T-shirt underneath and blue jeans.
He was also wearing a pair of gray sneakers and had thin-rimmed glasses on his face.
The City of Angels Star’s light hair was left long at the back and had turned completely gray. His gray beard has also grown a little.
Unrecognizable: NYPD Blue star Dennis Franz looked completely different after he was spotted outing for the first time since his son’s on-screen death
Heading out: The actor opted for a dressed-up look for the afternoon
With him was his wife, Joanne, who was dressed in a long white cardigan, black jeans, and sneakers.
Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and her bangs were left to fall straight across her forehead.
The beauty, who has been married to Denise since 1995, wore large sunglasses over her face and held her phone in her hand.
She has two daughters from a previous marriage, Tricia, 49, and Krista, 47, whom Denise has since adopted.
Dennis is best known for his starring role on NYPD Blue as Detective Andy Sipowicz from 1993 until the show ended in 2005.
His on-screen son, Theo Sipowicz, played Austin for seven seasons, starting in 1999.
Austin, who was a minor star but stopped acting in 2009, tragically passed away from a ‘fentanyl overdose’ on February 11 at the age of 27, TMZ mentioned.
He is found in a homeless shelter in Los Angeles after struggling for many years to get a job in the music industry.
Spotted: He was wearing a pair of gray sneakers and had thin-rimmed glasses on his face
The wait: The City of Angels actor wore a navy jacket with a red T-shirt underneath and blue jeans
Out and about: The star’s light hair has been left long in the back and is completely gray
QUICK LUNCH: Dennis was with his wife, Joanie Zeck, for lunch at Pan e Vino in Montecito
Formal: She wore a long white blazer, black jeans, and sneakers
The Star: The actor is best known for playing Detective Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue; David Caruso and Dennis on the show
Long: He was on the show from its inception in 1993 until it ended in 2005; Jimmy Smits, Kim Delaney, and Denise on NYPD Blue
Austin displayed disturbing behavior on social media in the weeks leading up to his death from an apparent drug overdose over the weekend.
Majors, once the lovable cherub face oft seen on the TV show NYPD Blue, has replaced his chubby cheeks with a scruffy beard, tangled hair, and what appears to be a set of golden grillz along his bottom teeth.
According to his IMDB page, Majors had his last acting gig in 2009 and has instead recently launched a music career under the name “Pope!”
In a series of recent posts, Majors promoted his music – a collection of dark house music – while espousing existential themes, and even mentioned battling ‘the demons of solitude’ months before his death.
It remains unclear if Majors was going through a period of vagrancy at the time of his death, or how long he had been in the shelter where he was reportedly found dead.
His autopsy was scheduled to be completed Monday, and final toxicology results are expected within a few months.
His family released a statement calling Austin “a loving, artistic, wonderful and kind human being.”
“Austin has felt so much joy and pride in his acting career,” they told TMZ. He was an active Eagle Scout and graduated Salutatorian in high school. He went on to graduate from the University of Southern California College of Cinematic Arts with a passion for directing and producing music.
Troubled: Austin Majors in his Instagram post from 2022. He was found dead in early February
Loss: Austin Majors appears as a young boy on an episode of NYPD Blue in 1999
Social media moment: A post Majors made on his Instagram account months before his death from an apparent drug overdose
Looks different: Majors made a series of disturbing posts on his social media in the months leading up to his death
New track: Majors has been promoting his music – a darker mix of house music – on social media in recent years
Although he hasn’t acted in over a decade, in 2020 Austin shared a photo on Instagram of his Screen Actors Guild membership card, saying he’d been a member for twenty years.
Instead of acting, Majors was pursuing a career in music. In many posts he has described himself as a “struggling artist”.
His music teemed with minor keys, chaotic synth lines, and seemed to reflect the dark, scatterbrained state of mind featured in his social media posts.
Austin won a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Television Series for his work on NYPD Blue in 2002.
The actor has also been nominated for Best Performance in a Voice Role in Treasure Planet.
He was born on the 23rd of November in California with the name Austin Sitmager.
Austin graduated second in his high school class in 2013. He went to school at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts – majoring in Film and Television Production with a minor in Music Production.
Austin’s first role was in the 1997 film Nevada, where he played a young boy.
Changes: Major in 2018. Posts on social media showed his changed appearance in recent months
Young Star: Austin appeared in several TV shows and movies until 2009
Acting: Majors on the set of NYPD Blue. His last appearance on camera came in 2009
He went on to star in The Price of Air in 2000, Providence in 2001, Treasure Planet in 2002, Bananas in 2004 – before playing Theo in NYPD Blue. He starred as Theo in 48 episodes from 1999 through 2004.
From there, Austin went on to star in Volare in 2004, ER in one episode in 2005, Hercules in two episodes in 2005 as well as Little Manhattan in 2005.
He had small roles on Bye Bye Benjamin, Threshold, According to Jim, NCIS, The Ant Bully, American Dad!, Dead Silence, The Gray Man and Desperate Housewives between 2005 through 2007.
In his most recent roles, Austin has played Will Wright in the TV movie An Accidental Christmas in 2007, Hank in Night Writer in 2007 and How I Met Your Mother in a single episode in 2009.