Raphael Coleman’s mother, Liz Jensen, has shared a heartbreaking statement following news of her son’s death.
Raphael, who was known for playing Eric Brown alongside Emma Thompson in Nanny McPhee, died on Friday (7 February), aged 25.
Sharing a statement to The Sun, Liz said she is ‘heartbroken’ but ‘so proud’.
It read: ‘We are heartbroken, but so proud of him and his work to protect our heaven on earth. He inspired so many people and was so loved.
‘He was beautiful and wise and it’s hard to imagine how life will continue. But it must and will – and he’d want that.’
She concluded: ‘We were so lucky to have him, he brought such joy. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.’
Liz confirmed the actor’s death on Twitter. She tweeted: ‘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.’
Raphael’s step-father Carsten Jensen said the star ‘collapsed without prior health problems’ in a message he shared to Facebook.
‘I guess there’s nothing that makes you see death as unfair and meaningless as when a young person dies. It’s life itself that’s sabotaged. It just happened to my wife, Liz, whose youngest son, Raph of only 25, died last Friday,’ he explained.
‘He collapsed without prior health problems in the middle of a trip and could not be restored. I got to know Raph when he was six years old, and we were so close.’
‘I will never forget you, we say in a farewell greeting to the dead,’ he continued.
‘But when it’s your own child, it’s your genes, your whole body, something greater than the word I who forever refuse to accept the judgment of death.
‘Raph wasn’t my child, even though I was close to him. But I can feel it myself. I see it in his mother’s eyes, and I hear it in her voice, the irreversible loss of the most precious thing in life.’
Raphael first came to fame back in 2005, starring in Nanny McPhee alongside Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Angela Lansbury.
He went on to star in It’s Alive, in 2009, as well as The Fourth Kind and Edward’s Turmoil, and won best young actor at the British Independent Film Festival in 2010.
Raphael later turned his back on acting and turned to his studies, with his step-dad confirming he became a biologist, and travelled around the world for work.
Carsten explained he spent a year in a jungle in Costa Rica, and six months in Indonesia, before joining activist group Extinction Rebellion.
Tributes have since flooded in for Raphael, with his Nanny McPhee co-star Eliza Bennett tweeting: ‘I was so heartbroken to hear about Raphael (now James Iggy).’
Praising his dedication to activism, Eliza continued: ‘After we worked on Nanny McPhee, he dedicated his life to protecting wildlife and fighting climate change.
‘I’m honoured to have crossed paths with him & my heart is with his family in this dark time.’
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