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 his afternoon out, wearing a navy blue jumper with a red shirt underneath and blue jeans.
He also wore a pair of gray trainers and thin-rimmed glasses on his face.
The City of Angels star’s thinning hair was left long and had turned completely gray. His gray beard had also grown out a bit.
Unrecognizable: NYPD Blue star Dennis Franz looked very different after being spotted on screen for the first time since his son’s passing
On the road: the actor opted for a dressy look for his afternoon out
With him was his wife Joanie, donning a long white cardigan, black jeans and sneakers.
Her auburn hair was pulled back in a ponytail and her bangs fell straight over her forehead.
The beauty, who has been married to Dennis since 1995, sported large sunglasses on her face and carried her phone in her hand.
She has two daughters from a previous marriage, Tricia, 49, and Krista, 47, whom Dennis has since adopted.
Dennis is known for starring in NYPD Blue as Detective Andy Sipowicz from 1993 until the show’s end in 2005.
His on-screen son, Theo Sipowicz, was played by Austin for seven seasons starting in 1999.
Austin, who was a child star but retired from acting in 2009, tragically passed away on Feb. 11 at the age of 27 from a “fentanyl overdose.” TMZ reported.
He was found in a Los Angeles homeless shelter after struggling for years to build a career in the music industry.
Spotted: He wore a pair of gray sneakers and thin-rimmed glasses on his face
Waiting: The City of Angels actor wore a navy blue jumper with a red shirt underneath and blue jeans
On the road: The star’s thinning hair was left long and had turned all gray
Quick lunch: Dennis was having lunch with his wife Joanie Zeck at Pan e Vino in Montecito
Solemn: She put on a long white cardigan, black jeans and sneakers
Star: The actor is best known for playing Detective Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue; David Caruso and Dennis on the show
Long time: He was on the show from the beginning in 1993 to the end in 2005; Jimmy Smits, Kim Delaney and Dennis on NYPD Blue
Austin exhibited disturbing behavior on social media over the weekend in the weeks before his death from an apparent drug overdose.
Majors, once a beloved angelic face often seen on the TV show NYPD Blue, had traded his chubby cheeks for a ragged beard, tousled hair and apparently a set of gold Grillz along his lower teeth.
According to his IMDB page, Majors had his last acting gig in 2009 and had recently embarked on a music career under the moniker “Pope!”
In a series of recent posts, Majors promoted his music – a collection of dark house music – while espousing existential topics, even mentioning fighting “isolation demons” months before his death.
It remains unclear whether Majors was going through a period of homelessness at the time of his death, or how long he had been at the shelter where he was reportedly found dead.
An autopsy on his body was due to be completed Monday and final toxicology results are expected in a few months.
His family released a statement calling Austin a “loving, artistic, brilliant and kind human being.”
“Austin was very happy and proud of his acting career,” they told TMZ. He was an active Eagle Scout and graduated Salutatorian in high school. He then graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a passion for directing and producing music.’
Troubled: Austin Majors in a post on his Instagram 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 message Majors posted to his Instagram months before his death from an apparent drug overdose
Looking different: Majors posted a series of disturbing messages on his social media in the months before he died
New path: Majors has been promoting his music – a dark mix of house music – on social media in recent years
Although he hadn’t acted in over a decade, in 2020 Austin shared a photo on his Instagram of his Screen Actors Guild membership card, saying he had been a member for 20 years.
Instead of acting, Majors had pursued a career in music. In numerous posts, he described himself as a “struggling artist.”
His music teemed with minor keys, chaotic a-melodic synthesizer lines and seemed to reflect a dark and absent-minded state of mind that showed up in his social media posts.
Austin won the Young Artists Award for Outstanding Performance in a Television Series for his work on NYPD Blue in 2002.
The actor was also nominated for Best Performance in a Voice Over Role for Treasure Planet.
He was born Austin Setmajer on November 23 in California.
Austin graduated second in his class in high school in 2013, then attended school at the University of Southern California, at the School of Cinematic Arts – majoring in film and television production with a minor in music production.
Austin’s first role was in the 1997 movie Nevada, playing a young boy.
Changes: Majors in 2018. Social media posts revealed that his appearance had changed in recent months
Young star: Austin appeared in numerous TV shows and movies until 2009
Acting: Majors on the set of NYPD Blue. His last appearance in front of the camera was in 2009
He next starred in The Price of Air in 2000, Providence in 2001, Treasure Planet in 2002, Bananas in 2004 – before landing the role of Theo in NYPD Blue. He starred as Theo in 48 episodes from 1999 to 2004.
From there, Austin went on to star in Volare in 2004, ER for one episode in 2005, Hercules for two episodes in 2005, and Little Manhattan in 2005.
He had small roles in Bye Bye Benjamin, Threshold, According to Jim, NCIS, The Ant Bully, American Dad!, Dead Silence, The Gray Man and Desperate Housewives between 2005 and 2007.
In his last roles, Austin starred as Will Wright in the TV movie An Accidental Christmas in 2007, Hank in Night Writer in 2007, and How I Met Your Mother for one episode in 2009.