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Jansen Panettiere: Family reveal how 28-year-old Walking Dead actor died

The family of Jansen Panettiere has revealed his cause of death after the actor died last week at the age of 28.

Panettiere was best known for being in shows such as Even Stevens, The X's, The Lost Medallion, The Martial Arts Kid, and The Walking Dead, and was the brother of actress Hayden Panettiere.

In a statement to ABC News, his mother, Lesley Vogel, father, Skip Panettiere, and sister said: "Though it offers little solace, the medical examiner reported Jansen's sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly, coupled with aortic valve complications."

Cardiomegaly is more commonly known as an enlarged heart, and can be a sign that the heart muscle is not working as well as it should be, according to the British Heart Foundation, which adds common causes include heart disease, high blood pressure and thyroid disease.

The family added: "Jansen's heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit.

"His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered."

They also thanked the public for their support while they "navigate this unthinkable loss" and asked that they "be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning".

He started his career as a child actor and appeared in several television and film roles from the early 2000s.

He later began working as a voice actor and featured in Ice Age 2: The Meltdown as the Shovelmouth Boy and in Robots as Younger Rodney.

He also appeared in Nashville alongside his sister.

Last year, Panettiere appeared in the Christmas film Love And Love Not.

As well as his acting work, he was also known for his colourful artwork, which he posted on Instagram under the name RANE. He produced bags, shoes and jackets featuring designs of his work too.