How Descendants 3's Dove Cameron Learned Of Cameron Boyce's Death

Descendants 3 Cameron Boyce Sofia Carson Dove Cameron Boo Boo Stewart ABC

The news of Cameron Boyce's death was a shock for fans, but his Descendants co-star Dove Cameron needed "a word stronger than devastated" to describe her own pain hearing the news. She also shared how her fellow Descendants 3 stars helped each other through their grief.

Cameron Boyce died July 6 at age 20, and the coroner confirmed the cause was "sudden unexpected death in epilepsy." Tributes and condolences poured into social media after the news broke -- from Cameron Boyce's Grown Ups dad Adam Sandler to his Jessie and Descendants family.

Descendants 3 premieres tonight on the Disney Channel and it's going to be bittersweet for fans to see Cameron Boyce one more time as Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil.

Dove Cameron stars in the Descendants films as Mal, daughter of Maleficent, and she recently talked to Seventeen about how she met Cameron Boyce, and where she was when she found out he had died.

Dove met Cameron after they had both signed on for their roles in the Descendants. The Liv & Maddie star said she always wanted to meet him since watching him on Jessie.

I had always thought, ‘Damn, what a charismatic, bright and brilliant kid.’

Dove said she saw Cameron on the lot where they both filmed their shows and ran out of the car to hug him, saying...

This is going to sound so weird, but we’re about to do this new thing together, and I’m going to hug you, because I can promise you now, we are going to be friends. ... From that first day onward, Cameron was my friend and he treated me, like he treated everyone else, like they were the most important person in the room. I loved him like a brother, and I learned from him every day, how to be joyful, how to be resilient, how to be patient, no matter the circumstances. I couldn’t begin to quantify the wisdom and generosity that this kid had. I still learn from him every day.

So you can imagine how she felt when she got the news about his death. Here's how it happened, in her words:

When I heard about Cameron, I had just woken up early in a London hotel room to the sound of my phone ringing off the hook. I was nervous about why I could be getting so many texts and calls, so I only looked at my mother’s text. I knew she would be the gentlest, and the most concise, whatever it was. It explained what had happened and I immediately phoned Boo Boo [Stewart], who had already called me twice. We just sobbed without speaking. If there was a word stronger than devastated that could describe the depth of pain that I was feeling, I would use it.

On July 9, Dove Cameron posted an Instagram video in honor of Cameron, along with a few more photos. She admitted at first his death felt too private and emotional for something as public as a social media post. She needed a few days, including some time in therapy, to figure out what she wanted to say.

A photo posted by on

Dove Cameron added to Seventeen that her Descendants co-stars have been just as shaken, and they've helped each other through it:

Me, Boo Boo, Cam, and Sofia [Carson] still have our core 4 group chat active and open, as we have for 5 years. It’s hard when there are no adequate words to express the pain we are all feeling, but the usual text is ‘love you.’ Or ‘are you eating?’ Or ‘how are we all today?’ I think something like this horrible loss makes you realize how important you are all to each other. I am grateful for my chosen family at a time like this.

I'm glad the Descendants family had each other to lean on. It took Dove Cameron a couple of days to post on social media, as she explained, and that was also the case for Jessie star Debby Ryan. Unfortunately, some fans badgered Ryan about her social media "silence," which just added to the grief.

As fans watch the Descendants 3 premiere tonight (Friday, August 2) at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel, they will surely turn to social media to share their feelings once again at the loss of Cameron Boyce.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.