A family man ‘til the end. Cameron Boyce credited his loved ones with showing him the importance of charity work in his final interview before his sudden death at the age of 20.
“There’s a long line of difference makers in my family,” the Disney Channel star told Haute Living in a profile published on May 7. “I’m following in the footsteps of some really strong men and women who have showed me what it means to give back; it’s the greatest way to fulfill yourself. Every time I talk to someone who shares that similar passion, we talk about how there aren’t many feelings more euphoric. Changing someone else’s life positively changes yours for the better as well.”
Boyce told the lifestyle magazine that he would “try to be the bridge for those people” who did not know how to give back. He also spoke about his ancestry (his father, Victor Boyce, is black, and his mother, Libby Boyce, is Jewish) as well as his grandmother Jo Ann Boyce, who was a member of the famed Clinton 12, a group of Tennessee students who became the first to desegregate a southern high school in the 1950s.
“Her story doesn’t just inspire me … It hits home with everyone who stops to listen to it,” the actor said about his grandmother. “She and the other 11 students set the stage for our generation to come together. We have to ensure – especially with some of the controversy plaguing us now – that we continue to push toward dreams that have yet to be realized. Equality in its truest sense.”
18 PHOTOSCameron Boyce through the yearsSee GalleryCameron Boyce through the yearsCULVER CITY, CA – DECEMBER 09: Cameron Boyce star of the hit series "Jessie" gets signs autographs for Radio Disney AM 1110 fans at the Wii U Showdown at Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles on December 9, 2012. Wii U is one of Nintendo’s hottest items of the holiday season. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Nintendo of America)DESCENDANTS – Disney Channel’s original movie "Descendants" stars Booboo Stewart as Jay, Dove Cameron as Mal, Sofia Carson as Evie and Cameron Boyce as Carlos. (Photo by Eike Schroter/Disney Channel via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 25:Actor Cameron Boyce attends the 2012 Hollywood Christmas Parade Benefiting Marine Toys For Tots on November 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Vincent Sandoval/FilmMagic)JESSIE – “Karate Kid-tastrophe” – Jessie finds herself in unfamiliar territory when Emma’s unexpected behavior gets her into trouble at school.Meanwhile, Luke takes on the role of Sensei to train Zuri for her upcoming karate belt test. This episode of “Jessie” airs Friday, March 27 (8:00 PM – 8:30 PM ET/PT), on Disney Channel. (Kelsey McNeal/DISNEY CHANNEL via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 28:Cameron Boyce attends the 15th Annual Global Green Pre Oscar Party at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Global Green and EIN)GAMER’S GUIDE TO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING – “The Longest Yard” – Conor and Ashley give Mr. Spanks another chance at breaking the school’s punting record in football while Wendell and Franklin compete to become the next school mascot. This episode of “Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything” will air Wednesday, December 2 (8:30 PM – 9:00 PM ET/PT), on Disney XD. (Photo by Ron Tom/Disney XD via Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 13: Cameron Boyce attends A Legacy Of Changing Lives Presented By The Fulfillment Fund at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 13, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)STUDIO CITY, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 16: Actor Cameron Boyce attends the 2019 Radio Disney Music Awards at CBS Studios – Radford on June 16, 2019 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic,)STUDIO CITY, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 16: Cameron Boyce attends the 2019 Radio Disney Music Awards at CBS Studios – Radford on June 16, 2019 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25:Cameron Boyce attends LA Family Housing Annual LAFH Awards And Fundraiser Celebration at The Lot on April 25, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images,)INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: Cameron Boyce attends WE Day California at The Forum on April 25, 2019 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for WE Day)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 26:Former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden (L) and actor Cameron Boyce attend The 2019 Biden Courage Awards at Russian Tea Room on March 26, 2019 in New York City.(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for It’s On Us)LOS ANGELES, CA – September 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Cameron Boyce visits the Young Hollywood Studio on September 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Mendez/Young Hollywood/Getty Images)WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – AUGUST 28: Cameron Boyce attends Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood event at the Sunset Tower Hotel on August 28, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.(Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)BEVERLY HILLS, CA – APRIL 21:CEO and Co-Founder of The Thirst Project Seth Maxwell and Cameron Boyce attend The Thirst Project’s 9th Annual Thirst Gala at The Beverly Hills Hotel on April 21, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Thirst Project)BEVERLY HILLS, CA – APRIL 21:Cameron Boyce attends The Thirst Project’s 9th Annual Thirst Gala at The Beverly Hills Hotel on April 21, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Thirst Project)WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 05:Actor Cameron Boyce arrives at the 2018 LA Family Housing Awards at The Lot in West Hollywood on April 5, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.(Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 14:Actor Cameron Boyce arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre and El Capitan Theatre on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)Up Next
He continued, “She’s a huge part of who I am. Being African American and Jewish, I have plenty of ancestors and family members that I can look to for strength, and more importantly, for a grateful outlook on life. Every one of them clawed and scratched for my sister [Maya] and I to be in the position we’re in today.”
Boyce’s family announced on Saturday, July 6, that 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,” a family spokesperson continued in a statement to Us Weekly. “We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”
The Los Angeles native was best known for his roles in Grown Ups, Descendants and Jessie.
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