Cameron Boyce, a Disney Channel star best known for his starring role in the network’s Descendants franchise, has died at the age of 20, Variety reports.
Boyce “passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated,” his family wrote in a statement. “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.”
Like most child stars’, Boyce’s career was full of roles where he played the offspring of main characters played by more established actors, but he took parts that gave him more to do than look adorable. He made his screen debut in 2008, appearing both in the horror film Mirrors, in which he played Kiefer Sutherland and Paula Patton’s kid and was nearly murdered by a demon, and the thriller Eagle Eye, in which he played Michelle Monaghan’s kid and nearly unwittingly assassinated the president with a trumpet. After a recurring role on General Hospital: Night Shift (Antonio* Sabato Jr.’s kid), he returned to the movies in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, as Adam Sandler’s son. Boyce spent his tween years at the Disney Channel, getting a co-starring role on Jessie as one of four wealthy New York kids looked after by a Texas-transplant nanny. In 2015, he played Cruella de Vil’s son in the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants:
Descendants launched a franchise, complete with TV series, shorts, and spinoffs; Boyce will appear in the third film in the series, scheduled to be released Aug. 2. He was also beginning to make the transition into more adult fare, and is expected to feature in the upcoming HBO series Mrs. Fletcher.
Boyce’s co-stars and fans are mourning him on social media. Adam Sandler posted a touching tribute, writing that the actor “cared so much about the world” and lamenting the work he might have done in the future:
Salma Hayek, Cameron’s mom in the Grown Ups movies, called him “spirited, talented, kind, generous, funny, and a shining light.”
Charles Esten, who played Boyce’s father on Jessie, wrote a lovely thread about knowing Boyce as an elementary school student before becoming his co-worker:
And Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert Iger offered his condolences:
When he wasn’t acting, Boyce raised money for the Thirst Project, a nonprofit organization that builds freshwater wells in developing countries.
Correction, July 8, 2019: This post originally misstated Antonio Sabato Jr.’s first name.