In the wake of Cameron Boyce’s death on Saturday, July 6, fans are revisiting a years-old interview in which his grandmother Jo Ann Boyce lavished praise on the young actor.
“Extremely proud of this guy right here,” Jo Ann told Access in 2016, after Cameron had appeared in Disney Channel’s film Descendants and sitcom Jessie.
When asked if she watches his performances, Jo Ann said, “I sure do, over and over and over. Descendants, I watched probably six or seven times already. … Still watch Jessie. We watch the reruns.”
Jo Ann, meanwhile, gained fame 60 years prior as one of the students in the Clinton 12, a group of black students who attended Clinton High School in Tennessee after the Supreme Court ordered the school to desegregate in 1954.
“Imagine being the first to do what people considered an impossible thought for a long time,” Cameron told Dazed this March. “She had to face death threats, berating and violence just to go to school.”
In an interview with Haute Living in May, the actor said his grandmother was “a huge part” of who he was. “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,” he added. “Every one of them clawed and scratched for my sister and I to be in the position we’re in today.”
Cameron, who also appeared in the Grown Ups movies and was recently cast in the HBO series Mrs. Fletcher, died on Saturday at the age of 20 “due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated,” a spokesperson told Us Weekly on behalf of Cameron’s family. “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.”
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