RIP Jack Burns — 14-Year-Old Dancer And Child Actor Dead Unexpectadly At 14

Police do not suspect foul play.

How did Jack Burns die?

Jack Burns, an up and coming actor and dancer from Scotland has died at the age of 14. Police in Scotland say only that he was found at home on December 1 and that there is no suspicion of foul play at this time. 

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Burns had been dancing for many years and was studying with the Elite Academy of Dance and had also studied at the Glasgow School of Ballet. He was an actor and model in addition to his work as a ballet dancer. His brother Rory is also pursuing a show business career, having appeared twice on the series Outlander. His family has not issued any public statements about the death of their son, except to announce that his funeral would held on December 12. 

How did Jack Burns die? Here are the details of his life, career and announcements of his death. 

1. Jack Burns was from Scotland.

Jack Burns was a young dancer, model, and actor living in Greenock, Scotland with his parents and brother. The fourteen-year-old was pursing a career in show business. 


2. He had a brief acting career.

Jack Burns made an uncredited appearance in Outlander in 2014, a show that his brother has also been on. Rory Burns did two episodes of the Starz series as Young Roger Wakefield. In addition to his Outlander credit, Jack Burns appear in In Plain Sight and Retribution, both in 2016. He also worked as a model, appearing in campaigns via his agency The Model Team in Glasgow.

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3. His real talent was for ballet. 

Burns was only 9 years old when he was accepted to the Glasgow School of Ballet, a prestigious training program for dancers in Scotland. The school teaches the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus and has a program designed to prepare dancers for a professional dance career. Burns' talent was so evident that people referred to him as the next Billy Elliot, referring to the 2000 movie of the same name that follows a fictional young boy who wants to dance despite negative feedback from his family. 

Burns died in early December.


4. The police say there no suspicion of foul play.

The police in Scotland confirm that Burns has died and that he was found at home. "Around 3:30 pm on Sunday, December 1, police were called following the death of a 14 year-old boy to a house in the Esplanade area of Greenock," they said in a statement. "Inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of death but police are not treating it as suspicious. A report has been submitted."

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5. The local dance community is mourning for the young dancer.

Burns studied dance at a local studio called Elite Academy of Dance — Greenocks Royal Academy Classical Ballet School. On their Facebook page, they shared the news of their long-time student's passing. "It is with a very heavy heart that we write this post. Tragically as you know we lost our much loved student Jack Burns on Sunday 1st of December. Jack was an inspiration to everyone at Elite and touched the hearts of everyone who had the pleasure of working and dancing with him since 2012," they wrote along with details of his funeral, which was going to be open to any who knew him. "Karen, Robert and Rory would love if those from his Elite Family that knew and loved Jack as much as they all do wanted to attend [the funeral]. They would also take much comfort if students wish to attend in Alba or Elite Hoodies and sit together on Thursday."

One commenter on the post said "Sad to hear of the loss of this talented young man. Thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this difficult time. May he rest in peace." 


A Facebook user who had seen him perform was saddened to hear of his passing, saying "I have had the honor of seeing Jack perform, He will be greatly missed in the entertainment world. A very talented young man that now and forever with our Father in heaven where he dances on for eternity. What a glorious picture. God bless your family and friends....Dance on Jack and keep smiling sweet Angel."

His dance school remembered him fondly. 


6. Fans paid tribute to him on social media.

Fans who had seen Burns on TV were devastated to hear of his passing. "So sad and shocked to hear about Jack Burns's death," one Twitter user wrote. "[N]o one should die at the age of 14. [H]e was so handsome and talented. You're dancing with the stars now little Billy Elliot.."

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.