By Maureen Lee Lenker
July 07, 2019 at 12:39 PM EDT
Image Group LA via Getty Images

Cameron Boyce, an actor best known for his roles on Disney Channel’s Descendants and Jessie, has died. He was 20 years old.

Boyce died Saturday night as a result of what a statement acquired by ABC News describes as “an ongoing medical condition.”

“It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron,” a statement read on behalf of the Boyce family. “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.”

A Los Angeles native, Boyce began acting at a young age. Audiences knew the actor best for his role on Disney Channel’s Jessie, on which he starred as Luke Ross, one of the four rambunctious children the titular character Jessie (Debby Ryan) served as a nanny for on New York City’s Upper West Side. Jessie ran for four seasons and 98 episodes.

Boyce also was beloved for his role in Disney’s Descendants franchise, a series of original television films about the children of iconic Disney villains. He starred as Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil, alongside other breakouts from the franchise including Dove Cameron and Sarah Jeffery. The third film in the series, which features Boyce reprising his role, is set to premiere on Disney Channel on August 2.

Cameron Boyce was born May 28, 1999 in Los Angeles. He began his career appearing in Panic! At the Disco’s 2008 music video for “That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)” as a younger version of guitarist Ryan Ross. At the age of 9, Boyce made his feature film debut in 2008’s horror film Mirrors. 

In 2010, Boyce had a breakout role as one of Adam Sandler’s children in the comedy film Grown Ups. Besides his buzzy roles on Jessie and Descendants, Boyce appeared in a variety of Disney Channel programming in guest starring roles, including episodes of Good Luck Charlie, Shake It Up, Liv and Maddie, and Bunk’d. He was attached to HBO’s new show Mrs. Fletcher as a series regular, as well as to a TV spinoff of American Satan titled Paradise City. 

Boyce was also dedicated to charity, and was honored with the Pioneering Spirit Award at last year’s Thirst Gala, a ceremony sponsored by nonprofit the Thirst Project, for which Boyce raised $30,000 to build wells for clean drinking water in Swaziland.

As the news on Boyce’s death broke on Sunday morning, a wave of tributes for the actor sprang up across social media. Boyce’s Grown Ups co-star (and on-screen father) Adam Sandler shared a post on Twitter in Boyce’s honor, writing, “Too Young. Too sweet. Too funny. Just the nicest, most talented, and 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.”

Disney Channel also shared a statement via Instagram alongside a picture of Boyce in his Descendants role. The statement read, “From a young age, Cameron Boyce dreamed of sharing his extraordinary artistic talents with the world. As a young man, he was fueled 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.”

Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger also paid tribute on Twitter, writing, “The Walt Disney Company mourns the loss of #CameronBoyce, who was a friend to so many of us, and filled with so much talent, heart and life, and far too young to die. Our prayers go out to his family and his friends.”

Kenny Ortega, director of the Descendants films, also shared his condolences on Instagram alongside a behind-the-scenes photo from the set of the Disney television movie series. “My Love, Light and Prayers go out to Cameron and his Family,” Ortega wrote. “Cameron brought Love, Laughter and Compassion with him everyday I was in his presence. His talent, immeasurable. His kindness and generosity, overflowing. It has been an indescribable honor and pleasure to know and work with him. I will see you again in all things loving and beautiful my friend. I will search the stars for your light. Rest In Peace Cam. You will always be My Forever Boy! 💔”

See below for a sampling of other tributes from Boyce’s co-stars and colleagues.

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