Actor/comedian Leggett dies after day of hunting
A Tomahawk native who made his mark on Hollywood died Saturday after a day of deer hunting in the town of Tomahawk.
Jay M. Leggett, 50, of Los Angeles, was an actor, comedian, director and teacher in the L.A. comedy and improve scene. After graduating from UW Stevens Point, he went to Chicago, where he was involved with the Second City improve theater. He moved to L.A. and was a cast member of “In Living Color” in the 1990s. He went on to act in a number of television and film roles. He co-wrote several of his own films, including “Employee of the Month” and “Without a Paddle.”
Paying homage to his Northwoods roots, Leggett directed a documentary on Wisconsin deer hunting titled “To The Hunt,” released in 2011. Just prior to the 2010 hunt, he premiered the film at Tomahawk Cinema. At that time, despite his hectic Hollywood schedule, he had only missed two deer seasons in Tomahawk. With the documentary, Leggett said he wanted to showcase the culture of Wisconsin deer camp.
“When I go to L.A. and talk about hunting, they don’t get it,” he told the Foto News in a 2010 interview. “This is my way of taking a whole community of people who will never come to a hunting culture and let them experience what it’s like – at least a little bit – to go through a nine-day hunt, and especially with a hunting shack.”
On Saturday, the opening day of gun deer season, at 4:07 p.m. the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office took a 911 call of a person not breathing at a seasonal cabin in the town of Tomahawk.
Tomahawk EMS along with a deputy, responded to Wildwood Ave. and found family members performing CPR on Leggett. Paramedics continued CPR until it was determined he was beyond resuscitation efforts. The Lincoln County Coroner responded to the scene and pronounced Leggett dead.
In speaking with bystanders, it was determined that Leggett had returned to the cabin from his deer stand on an ATV. When he got off the machine, he collapsed and was found unresponsive by family members, who immediately started CPR.