Who is Kirby and why is he trending worldwide?

#RIP Kirby

The name might not strike a chord with many in the UK, but all across America millions are mourning the loss of Windell Middlebrooks.


More specifically, Generation Y is mourning the loss of Kirby, the character Widdlebrooks played in the American Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life on Deck back in 2008.

The show served as a spin off of another popular Disney show and focused on two twin brothers studying on a cruise ship for a semester. Fans immediately took to Middlebrooks’s blundering ship security guard with an affinity for rats and junk food.

The family broke the news of the actor’s death through a status on his Facebook account. No cause of death was given for the 36-year-old’s passing, but the family said, “It was Windell’s biggest wish that his final scene not be lived on social media”.

The public is instead using social media to remember their favourite childhood star, prompting the worldwide trending topic #RIPKirby.

Older fans not familiar with the tween programme will recognise Middlebrooks from his recurring Miller Light beer commercials where he plays a no-nonsense delivery driver. He also had recurring roles in long-running programmes like Scrubs and Body of Proof.

Those who worked closely with Middlebrooks took to social media to send out condolences.