Raphaël Coleman, a former child star who appeared in the 2005 family movie Nanny McPhee, has passed away at the very young age of 25. According to reports, Coleman went out for a run on Feb. 7 when he suddenly collapsed and died. The exact cause of his unexpected passing remains unclear at this time, though Coleman’s mother Liz Jensen confirmed his passing with a heartbreaking post on Twitter.
“Rest in peace my beloved son Raphael Coleman, aka Iggy Fox,” Jensen writes in the tweet. She adds: “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.” The “Iggy Fox” moniker comes from the alias Raphael had given himself after leaving acting to focus on activism. Also included in the tweet is a link to an essay Coleman had written for the activist organization Extinction Rebellion, which focuses primarily on the issue of global climate change.
Coleman was born in London in 1994 and took an early interest in performing. He was just ten years old when he was cast in director Kirk Jones’ British-American comedy Nanny McPhee as Eric Brown, a troublemaking child with a penchant for mixing dangerous chemicals. Coleman would follow up this role in 2009 when he starred in the indie horror movie It’s Alive, a remake of the 1974 horror classic of the same name. That same year, he would also appear in the sci-fi thriller The Fourth Kind alongside Milla Jovovich and Will Patton.
The future was very bright for Coleman as an actor. In 2010, his work on the short film Edward’s Turmoil won Coleman awards for Best Young Actor at the British Independent Film Festival and Best Male Interpretation at the Brussels Short Film Festival. However, Coleman came to discover his biggest passion was in activism, as he took the threat of climate change very seriously. Leaving the lure of Hollywood behind him, Coleman would then dedicate the rest of his short life to becoming a very active environmental activist.
Some of Coleman’s other family members and friends have since expressed their shock and sadness over the former child star’s sudden passing. Eliza Bennett, who plays his sister in Nanny McPhee, said in a tweet that she’s “heartbroken” over the news and “honoured to have crossed paths [with] him & my heart is with his family in this dark time.” Coleman’s stepfather, Carsten Jensen, also says of Raphael in a Facebook post, “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.
At just 25 years old, Coleman’s death has come way too soon, and our thoughts are going to his family and friends at this time. The world needs more people like Raphael, and he will forever be loved and missed. RIP. This news comes to us from Entertainment Weekly.
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 https://t.co/qFRKPT7rRG
— Liz Jensen (@LizJensenWriter) February 7, 2020
I was so heartbroken to hear about Raphael (now James Iggy). After we worked on Nanny McPhee, he dedicated his life to protecting wildlife and fighting climate change. I’m honoured to have crossed paths him & my heart is with his family in this dark time. https://t.co/oHU0a1l3BE
— Eliza Bennett (@ElizaBennett) February 11, 2020
Such a tragic loss. #RestInPower#IggyFox great activist with #ExtinctionRebellion and dedicated protector of animals. A deep inspiration to all who met him. The rebellion continues for him. https://t.co/xKPKYNWVwIpic.twitter.com/v1HGP5DL5u
— Occupy London (@OccupyLondon) February 8, 2020