Cameron Boyce's grandmother calls late Disney Channel actor 'a shining star in the sky'

LOS ANGELES -- Since 20-year-old Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce passed away suddenly in his sleep on Saturday, those who knew him best are remembering him as a young man full of light.

"He is a star, but he's like a different kind of star. He's a shining star in the sky," his grandmother, Jo Ann Boyce, told Knoxville ABC affiliate WATE.

Jo Ann, who was a member of the local Civil Rights group the Clinton 12, recalled how special it was for Cameron and their family to be a part of a 2016 Disney XD Black History Month featurette about the historic group of students.

"For him to be a part of that and to share that with his young viewers," she said, "to show that his grandmother had been involved in something that he felt like he was stepping on my shoulders and to make the world a better place, that was an incredible experience," she said.


Jo Ann said she wants her grandson to be remembered for more than just his talent as an actor.

"His nature, his giving nature, loving nature. That's his legacy. As well as his talent," she said.

Fellow Disney Channel star Debby Ryan, who worked with Boyce from 2011-2015 on the series "Jessie," echoed that sentiment through a video she shared on her Instagram Story. The video was excerpted from a speech Boyce gave while accepting an award from the Thirst Project in 2018.

"We need to use our resources and what we have -- we're all in here in suits -- " Boyce said in the speech. "We need to use what we have and make the world a better place for other people. Other people. People who need us."

On Twitter, his father, Victor Boyce, called the loss of his son a "nightmare" but said his family was "overwhelmed with the love and support."


As the young actor's family comes to terms with his death, the L.A. County Coroner has not yet determined an official cause of death.

First responders were dispatched to his home in Los Angeles on Saturday around 2:30 p.m. after he was found unresponsive. The family said later in a statement that he had died in his sleep after a seizure "which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated."

The coroner confirmed to ABC News that the auotpsy has been completed, but his cause of death is still pending investigation.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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