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Peter Billingsley, Actor From 'A Christmas Story,' Finds Dead Musician In Chicago Hotel

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PETER BILLINGSLEY
Billingsley at a 2009 event for "Couples Retreat," a film he worked on with O'Brien. | Getty

A former child actor best known for his performance as Ralphie in the holiday classic "A Christmas Story" came upon the dead body of a former colleague in a Chicago hotel room over the weekend.

Peter Billingsley, now a Hollywood film producer, discovered the body of 42-year-old John O'Brien, a singer/songwriter whose music has appeared in films including "The Break-Up," "Iron Man," "Elf" and others on bed in a room at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago, where he had scheduled a meeting to discuss an upcoming film project Saturday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

An autopsy performed Sunday came back inconclusive pending a toxicology analysis. But according to the Chicago Tribune, a police source reported that suspected narcotics and sleeping pills were found in O'Brien's room.

The Tribune also reports that Billingsley had gone looking for O'Brien because he was expected to attend a party related to this weekend’s Air and Water Show, but never arrived.

Billingsley is close friends with actor Vince Vaughn and the two have worked together on many of O'Brien's most recent films, including "Couples Retreat," "Four Christmases" and "The Break-Up." O'Brien received an ASCAP Award for his work on the score of the latter film in 2007.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

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