The Disney family is reeling Sunday morning after news of 20-year-old actor Cameron Boyce’s sudden death emerged. Known for shows like Jessie as well as the Descendants movies, Cameron frequently talked about his love for his family and his fans know that Boyce’s closest loved ones are facing difficult days ahead.
Cameron grew up in Los Angeles, the son of Victor and Libby. He has a sister named Maya and the young Descendants star was close to many in his extended family as well.
According to The Sun, the Jessie star is of mixed race, as his mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and his father is black. In an interview with Raw a while back, Boyce talked about how his grandfather is from the Caribbean and he knows there are a lot of European components to his ethnic makeup as well.
Boyce’s grandmother, Jo Ann Boyce, was one of the “Clinton 12” back in 1956. As AAREG details, the dozen black students were the first to desegregate a public high school in the south when they attended Clinton High School together in Clinton, Tennessee.
People explained that Cameron’s grandmother was just 14-years-old when she joined 11 other students to attend Clinton High School. The group of teenagers drew immense backlash from the white community, but they did not back down.
Jo Ann also wrote a book titled This Promise of Change about her experience. Cameron and the rest of his family were thrilled to support her efforts when it was published, sharing details about it via Instagram and other avenues.
Cameron’s mother Libby has done a lot of work to help marginalized groups of people. Earlier this year, Boyce explained to Dazed that his mother worked in the health sector as a social worker when the AIDS epidemic first began. More recently, she’s worked to manage and coordinate teams to help the homeless along Skid Row.
ABC News details that in a statement released by a Boyce family representative, Cameron’s loved ones acknowledge that they are “utterly heartbroken.” by the actor’s death. They are asking for privacy as they “grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”
Cameron and his younger sister Maya were clearly quite close. When the Descendants star graduated from high school a couple of years ago, Maya posted a photo of the two of them via her Instagram page and noted that he was her best friend.
Fans firmly believe that Cameron Boyce would have had a long career ahead of him, as his Disney shows like Jessie and Descendants were just the beginning. While the young actor was already earning plenty of accolades for his work, he was also clearly still incredibly dedicated to his parents and the tight-knit family will definitely feel this loss for years to come.