“He died in his sleep from an epileptic seizure resulting from a persistent medical condition for which he was being treated.”
Cameron Boyce, a young Disney Channel star who also appeared in Adam Sandler films, died on Saturday at the age of 20.
“It is with deeply heavy hearts that we announce that this morning we lost Cameron,” a spokeswoman for the Boyce family told The Washington Post in a statement on Sunday. “He died in his sleep following an epileptic seizure resulting from a persistent medical condition for which he was being treated. The world is now undoubtedly bereft of one of its brightest lights, but its spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved it.
“We are heartbroken and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time as we mourn the loss of our precious son and brother,” the statement concluded.
Boyce was born in Los Angeles and began acting before the age of 10, landing his first recurring role in 2008 on “General Hospital: Night Shift.” He went on to become a mainstay on the Disney Channel, where he was best known for his roles as Carlos in the fantasy TV movie franchise “Descendants” and as Luke Ross on the channel’s family sitcom “Jessie.” He also appeared in the “Grown Ups” film series as the son of Sandler’s character, alongside Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Salma Hayek.
In 2017, he told Teen Vogue he had ambitions in other aspects of the arts, like poetry and photography.
“I think every child actor has that moment where they’re like, ‘OK, I’m not the same person I was anymore and you have to see me as something different,'” he told the magazine. “I thought about not escaping, but getting out of this mold for a long time.”
Born to a Jewish mother and a black father, Boyce was an advocate for on-screen diversity.
“There are a lot of people in Hollywood who don’t look like me or have the same characteristics as me,” he told Teen Vogue. “When it’s a lead role, it’s very hard to find. We’re kind of working to change that. This is something that is important to any person of color, a minority. It’s very important for people to not only see Hollywood and feel represented, but also to level the playing field a bit.”
Boyce also had a philanthropic streak, using his large social media following (including more than 10 million Instagram followers) to raise $27,000 in 40 days for Project Thirst, which brings clean water to countries under -developed.
Several celebrities paid tribute to the young actor on social networks at the announcement of his death.
Sandler posted a black and white photo of Boyce with the caption: “Too young. Too sweet. Too funny. Just the nicest, most talented, most decent kid ever. I loved this child. Cared so much about his family. Cared so much about the world. Thank you, Cameron, for all you’ve given us. So much more was on the way. All of our hearts are broken. I think of your incredible family and send you our deepest condolences.
Fellow Disney Channel star Gregg Sulkin mourned Boyce on Twitter.
“Sorry. At a loss for words. I had known Cameron Boyce for many years. He was always polite. Always respectful and always a class act. I wanted to be more in each other’s lives,” he wrote. “Now, I wish I had sent this message. To let him know personally how much esteem I had for him and how much admiration I had for him. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. close friends. Cameron, you were and still are a star. God bless you in heaven. You will be missed here.
Skai Jackson, who played her sister in “Jessie,” posted several photos of herself with Boyce on Instagram. “I don’t even know where to start…I’m at a loss for words,” she captioned. “I never thought that in a million years I would be writing this. Cam, you were one of a kind. My heart will be broken forever. I’m so glad I got to spend almost every day with you on set you gave the best hugs… Thank you so much for being the big brother I’ve ever had… I’m so overwhelmed and can’t stop crying!
Charles Esten, who played Boyce’s father in “Jessie,” also tweeted about the young actor’s death. “It was a joy to work with him on JESSIE, as was the case with all of the wonderful young stars of this beloved show. They were as close as real siblings, and still are, and my heart goes out. breeze for them today.