Raphael Coleman, who charmed audiences as young Eric Brown in the 2005 fantasy-comedy "Nanny McPhee," has died.
In a post shared to Facebook, Coleman's step-father, Carsten Jensen, said the former child star "collapsed without prior health problems" last Friday. He was 25. A representative for his mother confirmed the news to TODAY.
"Who was Raph? As a child, he was old-wise, extremely literate and loved to lecture adults with his always astonishing knowledge. He was a child actor in the popular British Comedy 'Nanny McPhee,' where he played himself with great talent, a little redhead boy who was always mixing explosive chemical ingredients," Jensen wrote.
"He had several roles, was rewarded and could have chosen a career as an actor. But he wanted to be a scientist, not to blow up something, as his figure in 'Nanny McPhee,' but to save the planet," he continued.
Coleman went on to appear in a handful of other movies, including the 2009 sci-fi thriller "The Fourth Kind" before he began focusing on environmental issues.
He traveled the world working for the global environmental group Extinction Rebellion. As an activist, using the pseudonym Iggy Fox, Coleman "controlled the group’s use of social media, spoke at demonstrations, and was arrested again and again," Jensen boasted.
"When I think of Raph, I see something that will never die, a blunt of eternity, a light beam that lives forever in young people. We believe that it is us, the older generations who have something to give the young people. We believe that we are the ones who pass the baton of life to them. But I think it's the other way around," he wrote.
Coleman's mother, Liz Jensen, shared her heartbreak on Twitter, writing, "Rest in peace my beloved son Raphael Coleman, aka Iggy Fox."
"He died doing what he loved, working for the noblest cause of all. His family could not be prouder. Let’s celebrate all he achieved in his short life and cherish his legacy," she added.