Celebs

Nelson Mandela's death spurs celebrity outpouring on Twitter

Dec. 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM ET

Image: Former South African President Nelson Mandela
Odd Andersen
View images of civil rights leader Nelson Mandela — who went from anti-apartheid activist to prisoner to South Africa's first black president.

The death of former South African President Nelson Mandela on Thursday touched millions around the globe who revered the life and work of the iconic 95-year-old. On Twitter, celebrities and entertainment figures were quick to share messages of love and peace for the celebrated anti-apartheid leader.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson said he never met a better man in his life; director Spike Lee shared a photo of himself with Mandela on Instagram in which Mandela was wearing a Malcolm X hat from Lee's biopic about the civil rights activist; South African actress Charlize Theron said his "impact on this world will live forever"; others tweeted quotations from Mandela.

Idris Elba, who plays Mandela in the new film, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," issued a statement after the news broke. "I am stunned at this very moment, in mourning with the rest of the world and Madiba's family," Elba said. "We have lost one of the greatest human beings to have walked this earth. I only feel honored to be associated with him. He is in a better place now."

It's clear Mandela's lifelong message had greatly influenced many in entertainment.

Actor Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Mandela in the 2009 film "Invictus," issued a statement on Thursday reflecting on the passing. "Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve — a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we've come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us."


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