When “The Flash” actor Logan Williams died suddenly April 2 at age 16, he was mourned by many who never knew his cause of death.
Now, in an exclusive interview with The Post, his mother, Marlyse Williams, reveals that preliminary toxicology results show Logan died of a fentanyl overdose, following a three-year battle with addiction.
After years of dealing with her son’s devastating secret, Marlyse Williams says she’s now determined to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 67,367 people died of opioid overdoses in 2018, the most recent stats released. And the mortality rate among teens continues to rise.
“His death is not going to be in vain,” she says of her blue-eyed son, who would have turned 17 on April 9 — just one week after his fatal overdose. “He’s going to help a lot of people down the road.”
Williams, a sales rep for a dental company, says when Logan was about 9, they were stopped in a Vancouver mall by a female casting agent in town from LA. “She said he could easily become an actor,” Marlyse recalls. “That resonated with Logan and a few days later he kept saying, ‘I think I could be an actor.’ I tried to really talk him out of it and say it’s so competitive. It means you have to learn lines and be on time and such. And he said, ‘I know I can! I can do it!’”
Marlyse was skeptical. “I thought this little obsession would end soon and he’ll move onto something else, like kids often do,” she says.
But she secured a Vancouver-based agent for him, who sent him on his first audition: a recurring role in the Hallmark series “When Calls the Heart.” Logan landed the gig.
“We were completely shocked because it was all new to us and didn’t know what to expect,” his mom says. Between ages 10 and 12, she says, he auditioned for hundreds of parts. Over the next few years he juggled school work with roles in the 2014 TV movie “The Color of Rain,” the 2014 ABC sci-fi series “The Whispers” and the longtime CW hit “Supernatural.”
His most notable role, though, was playing young Barry Allen in the first two seasons of “The Flash.”
His co-star, Grant Gustin, who played the adult title character to Logan’s young version of Barry Allen, called the news of Logan’s death “devastating” in an Instagram post read by more than a million people.
“He really, really enjoyed the acting,” his mom says. “I know there’s a stigma of child stars, but he was not a star. He was up and coming.”
But eventually so much auditioning became “way too stressful,” and he took a break. It was around that time, at age 13, that Marlyse discovered he was using marijuana, and from there he escalated to other drugs, though she doesn’t know for sure when he started using fentanyl. However, as his addiction progressed, he “was in complete denial because he was so ashamed,” she says.
Over the next three years, she tried to help him with his growing problem. That included remortgaging her home to send him to an expensive treatment center in the US and, just last summer, sending him to a British Columbia facility for one month. Since then, he was living in a group home.
“I did everything humanly possible — everything a mother could do,” she says. “I did everything but handcuff him to me to try to keep him safe.”
And the effect on her, as a parent? “It basically sucks all the energy out.” Still, she kept his addiction “under wraps” from most people, including those in the entertainment industry.
“Logan was always hoping to get back into acting, music or whatever future he wanted,” she says, adding that he went on several auditions last fall. “We didn’t want people to know because of the judgment, because of the embarrassment, because of the criticism. We wanted it to go away.”
Marlyse last saw her son on Monday, March 30. They cooked his favorite meal: filet mignon with truffled garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli, and shared an “amazing” evening eating, playing rummy and talking.
“He said to me, ‘Mom, I’m gonna get clean. I’m going to get better. And I want my new life to start.’ I just know the last thing we said to each other was, ‘I love you,’” she says.
Four days later — on Friday, April 3 — she was in a funeral home, identifying his body.
“Seeing him like that was as gut-wrenching as hearing that he died. It was horrific. Horrific. He was cold,” she says. “But I have to say I feel like he was restless and he needed me to tell him it’s okay to let go and that the pain is over and he doesn’t have to hurt anymore.”
That night she went outside to walk their dog, Chico.
“There was the brightest moon shining down on me and I swear that was Logan’s spirit, letting me know he had transitioned. I really felt his energy, that he had transitioned. I just hope he’s at peace,” she says through tears. “He was in so much pain and he was so ashamed.”
On Mother’s Day, she was greeted by a knock on the door: Four friends of Logan’s all brought her flowers. “I asked them, ‘I hope you bought your mom flowers,’ she says. And they said, ‘We brought you the expensive ones and our moms the cheap ones because Logan had such good taste and loved you.”
All four of them, she added, had “fresh” tattoos that read “RIP Logan.”
Earlier this week she was also reminded of Logan when singer Melissa Etheridge announced the death of her 21-year-old son, Beckett, due to an opioid overdose. “My heart breaks for her because I know the initial devastation of knowing your beautiful boy is gone. Unfortunately, I can relate,” she says. “We are in this horrible club. A club you don’t want to be a member of.”
Marlyse says she wants to “create a legacy out of this tragedy” of Logan’s death, even if she can only “create awareness or help one or five or 100 people to somehow heal and get help.”
Until then, she has a constant reminder of that unfortunate role: She keeps her son’s ashes in a handcrafted stone urn, surrounded by photos of him, on a table in her living room.
“Every night I put a candle by the window. I just want Logan to know that he’s always welcome to come back home,” she says. “Sounds so silly, but when he was alive I’d always leave the light on [for] if he’d come home.
I leave the light on so he knows I’m here for him.”
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