Who was Cameron Boyce?
Cameron Boyce was an American actor who was most famous for his starring roles in the Disney Channel sitcom Jessie and the television movie franchise Descendants. He died on July 6, 2019, at the age of 20, after suffering an epileptic seizure while sleeping at his Los Angeles home.
Boyce began his on-screen career at age 9, appearing in Panic! At The Disco’s 2008 music video for “That Green Gentleman.” That same year, he appeared in the horror film Mirrors and played a recurring role on General Hospital: Night Shift. He appeared in the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups and its 2013 sequel, playing Sandler’s spoiled son.
In 2011, Boyce landed the role of Luke Ross on Jessie. Initially, he auditioned for a small part, but the show’s producers were so impressed with his performance that they wrote in a new character. Jessie was a hit for the Disney Channel and ran for four seasons.
In Descendants, a Disney Channel musical, Boyce played the son of Cruella de Vil. The movie was another success, prompting two sequels (Descendants 3 will reportedly premiere on Aug. 2, 2019).
While developing his impressive acting resume, Boyce became deeply involved in charity work. He raised more than $30,000 for the Thirst Project, an organization that helps underserved communities gain access to fresh drinking water.
"There’s a long line of difference makers in my family," Boyce said in his final interview. "I'm following in the footsteps of some really strong men and women who have [shown] me what it means to give back; it's the greatest way to fulfill yourself. ...Many people have the heart to give back, but a lot don't know how to.”
“I try to be the bridge for those people—whether that means getting them involved in one of my campaigns or inspiring them by showing them a blueprint of how to get others engaged."
Tragically, Boyce passed away in July after suffering a seizure. He had been receiving treatment for epilepsy, and per the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, he died of natural causes.
"It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron," a Boyce family spokesperson said. "He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated.”
“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’s sudden death prompted numerous reactions from celebrities on social media. His former co-star Adam Sandler was one of the first to issue a statement.
“Too young. Too sweet. Too funny,” Sandler wrote. “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.”
Many of Boyce’s fellow actors recalled his commitment to charity and his pleasant personality, both on- and off-set.
Love you Cam. Your laughter, compassion and heart for humanity will be forever missed. We are all better for knowing you and your love. pic.twitter.com/Xqy5gt2En3— Jordan Fisher (@Jordan_Fisher) July 7, 2019
Disney will broadcast Descendants 3 in Boyce’s memory, with his family’s permission. The company also cancelled the movie’s July 22 red carpet premiere, instead making a donation to the Thirst Project.