Today news broke of the death of actor Cameron Boyce. The 20-year-old actor was best known for his role in the Disney Channel series Jessie, a show about a young girl (Debby Ryan) working as a nanny for a wealthy family in New York City. Boyce played Luke Ross, one of the children in Jessie's care.
Spider-Man: Far From Home star Zendaya also got her start as a Disney Channel star, beginning with the sitcom Shake It Up and then going on to star in and produce K.C. Undercover. The Disney Channel alum posted on social media after hearing about Boyce's death. "Absolutely heartbreaking, my heart goes out to his friends and family," Zendaya tweeted.
Boyce's family said in a statement that the star died from an "ongoing medical condition." A spokesperson for the family 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."
Absolutely heartbreaking, my heart goes out to his friends and family♥️ https://t.co/X8PAGo0Igi— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 7, 2019
Boyce was a Los Angeles native. His Disney Channel biography refers to him as an "old soul" who was "already a veteran to show business," with an "all-encompassing appreciation for the arts." He began performing in a dance studio before moving onto acting and commercials. From there, he soon found roles on television and in films.
In addition to his role on Jessie, Boyce also played the son of Cruella de Vil in Disney Channel's Descendants and starred in Disney XD's Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything. His career outside of Disney television included roles opposite Kiefer Sutherland in Mirrors, Shia LaBeouf in Eagle Eye, and Adam Sandler in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. Sandler shared his own remembrance of Boyce on social media.
In 2017, Boyce received a Daytime Emmy Award with Disney XD for "Outstanding Promotional Announcement" for his participation in the series "Timeless Heroes — Be Inspired," which celebrated Black History Month. He appeared in the series alongside his grandmother Jo Ann Boyce, one of the Clinton 12, the 12 black teens who were first to integrate into public schools in Clinton, Tennessee.
Boyce was also an active humanitarian. He was involved with the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization spreading awareness of the global water crisis. He launched a campaign on his birthday that raised more than $27,000 to build two wells in Swaziland. In 2018, Boyce was awarded the Pioneering Spirit Award, the organization's highest honor, at Thirst Project's ninth annual gala.