Former Disney star Cameron Boyce, best known for his role in Jessie and portraying Adam Sandler’s son in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, had a seizure and died in his sleep on July 7th, 2019. He was just 20 years old.
According to Variety, his family said in a statement:
“It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron…The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him. We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”
Boyce made his acting debut at 9-years-old in the 2008 horror film Mirrors alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Paula Patton. Two years later, he joined the Disney family in Jessie, and later went on to appear in the Descendants film franchise.
In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, a Disney Channel spokesperson said:
“From a young age, Cameron Boyce dreamed of sharing his extraordinary artistic talents with the world. As a young man, he was fueled by a strong desire to make a difference in peoples’ lives through his humanitarian work. He was an incredibly talented performer, a remarkably caring and thoughtful person and, above all else, he was a loving and dedicated son, brother, grandson and friend.”
News of the young star’s shocking death quickly spread through social media, with many of his co-stars and fans offering their condolences and sharing stories about their time with the talented actor.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger tweeted:
“The Walt Disney Company mourns the loss of #CameronBoyce, who was a friend to so many of us, and filled with so much talent, heart and life… Our prayers go out to his family and his friends.”
Adam Sandler tweeted:
“Too young. Too sweet. Too funny. Just the nicest, most talented, and most decent kid around. Loved that kid. Cared so much about his family. Cared so much about the world. Thank you, Cameron, for all you gave to us. So much more was on the way. All our hearts are broken. Thinking of your amazing family and sending our deepest condolences.”
Actor Charles Esten, Boyce’s on-screen dad in Jessie, left a touching tribute in a multi-tweet thread:
“My family and I are devastated today, by the loss of our young and amazing friend, Cameron Boyce…It was a joy to work with him on JESSIE, as it was with all the wonderful young stars of that beloved show…Our love and heartfelt prayers go out to them, and most especially, to the Boyce family. Your Cameron was a blessing to us, as he was to so many others in this world.”
“Rest In Peace, Cameron. You will be dearly remembered, my friend, and you will be greatly missed.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also remembered Boyce in a tweet, writing:
“I had the opportunity to meet Cameron Boyce at this year’s Courage Awards and through his work with [the social movement] It’s On Us. He was filled with so much light and served as a tremendous role model for young people.”
In a 2017 profile in Teen Vogue, Boyce said he was committed to using his large social media presence to make a difference. As he explained it:
“I think every child actor has that moment where they’re like, ‘OK, I’m not the same person that I was and you guys need to see me as something different.’ I thought about sort of like, not escaping, but transitioning out of that mold for a long time.”
Boyce really did use his celebrity for the greater good, too. In just 40 days, he managed to raise over $27,000 for the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization that aims to provide clean drinking water to the entire world.
As of the making of this video, Jessie co-star Debby Ryan hasn’t directly addressed Boyce’s untimely death on Twitter. However, over on Instagram, she did post part of a speech he gave in 2018 as he accepted the Pioneering Spirit award at the 9th annual Thirst Gala.
Rest in peace, Cameron Boyce. You are truly gone too soon.