Coronji Calhoun, most notable for his only on-screen appearance as the overweight son of Halle Berry and Sean Combs in the 2001 film “Monster’s Ball,” has died. He was 30 years old.
The death of the former child actor who garnered exceptional reviews in the Oscar Award-winning movie was discovered through a GoFundMe page Calhoun’s mother, Theresa Bailey, created seeking assistance “as we prepare to give Coronji a sacred celebration of life,” the Hollywood reporter revealed. According to the note, the former actor died on Halloween.
Bailey told WWL-TV that her son died as a result of congestive heart failure and lung problems. “Unfortunately, we did not have any life insurance policy on him (as we never expected this tragedy to befall us) before he transitioned. Now we ask for generosity in your donations as we prepare to give Coronji a sacred celebration of life,” Bailey wrote. “Thank you for your prayers, calls, texts, and selfless support!”
According to the media outlet, Berry and Lee Daniel — one of the producers on the film — were among those who donated; each gave $3,394, according to the website. The total amount being asked was 14,000. $The fundraiser is currently at more than $11,500.
During a 2002 interview, Berry spoke about working with Calhoun and how difficult it was filming abuse scenes, telling Ion films, “He’s still part of my life. I felt it really important not to just dump him off. Do this to this poor kid and go, ‘Thanks!’ That’s been meaningful for me. The aftermath. Staying in his life. Caring about what happens to him and I really genuinely do.”
She added, “But it was hard because he said something really heart-breaking to us: [Director Marc Forster] and I were talking to him, saying this is just a movie, and I kept saying, ‘Everything I do and say, it’s not real, I really think you’re wonderful.’ And he said ‘Well, whatever you do to me, Halle Berry, it isn’t going to be worse than what the kids at school do to me.’ ”
Following the donations, Bailey expressed gratitude through an update on the GoFundMe account, writing “We are blown away by the outpouring of love the community and Coronji’s adopted family has shown during our process of grief.” She added, “While the financial burden has been lifted, we still mourn the loss of my son. As we close this chapter, we ask that in your remembrance of him, you remember to love your neighbor as yourself, because that is what Coronji did for his entire community.”
Calhoun was one of six children. He leaves behind a 10-year-old son and 13-year-old stepson.
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