Cameron Boyce, a teen idol for his roles on the Disney Channel series "Jessie" and in the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise "Descendants," died suddenly in his sleep this weekend, his family has confirmed. He was just 20 years old.
TMZ reports Boyce suffered from epilepsy, which triggered seizures.
According to law enforcement sources, Boyce's death has been characterized as a "natural death."
The family statement read: "It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron. 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."
Disney Channel released its own statement: "From a young age, Cameron Boyce dreamed of sharing his extraordinary artistic talents with the world. As a young man, he was fuelled 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. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, cast mates and colleagues and join his many millions of fans in grieving his untimely passing. He will be dearly missed."
Boyce made his debut in the 2008 film "Mirrors," played one of Adam Sandler's children in "Grown Ups" (2010) and "Grown Ups 2" (2013), and also appeared in "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer" (2011).
On TV, he was on 98 episodes of the popular "Jessie," growing up before his fans' eyes. He starred in the highly successful DCOM "Descendants" (2015) and its sequels and spin-offs, including a second sequel that has yet to air. He also made appearances on other Disney Channel shows, including "Shake It Up" (2011), "Austin & Ally" (2012), and "Liv and Maddie" (2015).
Boyce had several projects in post-production at the time of his passing, including the upcoming HBO series "Mrs. Fletcher."
In spite of his young age, Boyce was noted for his charity work, including introducing Joe Biden at the Biden Courage Awards in March and being honored with a Pioneering Spirit Award for his nonprofit Thirst Project, which builds wells of drinking water in Swaziland.
"There are no limits. We have the world in our pockets — it's crazy! We can Tweet whenever we want, and we can use social media and Instagram and make the world a better place instead of a worse one, which so many people use it for, but we need to use our resources and what we have — we're all in here in suits — we need to use what we have and make the world a better place for other people, other people, people who need us," he said as he accepted his Pioneering Spirit Award.
He was memorialized by many of his peers, including his "Jessie" co-star Skai Jackson, who wrote on his final Instagram post, "I love you. Forever in my heart 💔👼🏼" and his "Descendants" director Kenny Ortega, who wrote, "Peter Pan, The forever boy! Love you Cam!"
His Grown Ups co-star Adam Sandler tweeted, "Too young. Too sweet. Too funny. Just the nicest, 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."
Salma Hayek added on Instagram, "I had the privilege to play Cameron's mother in #grownups 1 and 2 and we stayed in touch through the years He was spirited, talented, kind, generous, funny and a shining light. His joy will live in our hearts forever as he goes on dancing and shining elsewhere. My heart goes to his lovely family. @thecameronboyce."
See more reactions below.
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. May you feel the breadth of love being poured out for him today, and may God comfort you as you mourn./5
Heartbroken. Lost for words. I had known Cameron Boyce for many years. He was always polite. Always respectful and always a class act. In fact I was going to message him a couple weeks ago to tell him that I wanted to be in each other's lives more.