Civil rights pioneer Jo Ann Boyce is remembering the "loving nature" and precocious talent of her grandson, Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce, in the wake of his death.
Boyce passed away at the age of 20 from a seizure that was a result of epilepsy, his family said in a statement to NBC News on Wednesday.
Jo Ann Boyce spoke to Tennessee station WATE about the legacy of her grandson, who starred in the Disney Channel's "Jessie" and "Descendants" series.
"His nature, his giving nature, loving nature,'' she said. "That’s his legacy. As well as his talent."
There has been an outpouring of support for the family from fans, friends and Boyce's former co-stars since the family confirmed his death in a statement on Sunday morning.
"He is a star,'' Jo Ann Boyce said. "But he’s like a different kind of star. He’s a shining star in the sky. We’re grateful for everyone who is sending us the love and the support that we need right now. Thank you."
The grandmother and her grandson had a special relationship that included filming a video for Black History Month in 2016 about her bravery while facing racial prejudice in the 1950s.
The elder Boyce was one of the 12 African-American students known as the "Clinton 12," who were the first group of black students to be integrated into Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, in 1956, despite threats of violence and angry mobs gathered outside the school.
A bronze statue of the dozen students now stands at Green McAdoo Cultural Center, in front of the elementary school they attended before the integration of Clinton.
"And for him to be a part of that and to share that with his young viewers, 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 told WATE.
Her comments come after Boyce's heartbroken father, Victor Boyce, took to Twitter on Sunday to thank his son's fans for their support.
"I’m overwhelmed with the love and support our family has received,'' he wrote. "It really does help to ease the pain of this nightmare I can’t wake up from. I can’t thank you guys enough."
Former first lady Michelle Obama also remembered Boyce in a tribute on Instagram.
"I was lucky enough to share a few moments with Cameron Boyce — on set, at the White House, and on a service project — enough time to recognize that not only did he have incredible talent, but also an incredible heart,'' she wrote. "Sending out a lot of love and hugs to his family, friends, and his many, many fans."