So heartbreaking! Former child star Raphael Coleman passed away on Feb. 6 at just 25-years-old. He made his film debut in 2006’s Nanny McPhee, opposite Colin Firth and Emma Thompson. His death remains a mystery until an autopsy can be performed. His stepfather Carsten Jensen wrote on Facebook that he had no “prior health problems” before Raphael collapsed during a jog and couldn’t be revived.
London-born Raphael’s child acting career was brief, as he only starred in four films and quit the business in 2009. He grew up to study science and became a wildlife conservationist. He traveled to far-flung locations throughout the world to raise awareness of endangered species, animal trafficking and the destruction of rainforests. He was also a talented photographer. Here’s five things to know about Raphael.
1. Raphael only spent a short time in the film industry. After his breakout role as young Eric Brown in Nanny McPhee, Raphael shot three films in the year 2009 then quit show business. He won awards for his acting work. In 2010 he was named Best Young Actor at the British Independent Film Festival, and was awarded Best Male Interpretation at the 2010 Brussels Short Film Festival for the short film Edward’s Turmoil.
2. Raphael went by the name Iggy Fox as an adult and worked to save endangered animal species and ecosystems. Via his Instagram account wilderlost.fox, he described himself in his profile as a “XRebel Zoologist🦊I tell wild stories. Wildlife | Adventure | Ecology | Climate Activism.” His account is filled with his photos of his trips to save the Amazon rainforest, working to save the land of indigenous people, rehabilitating wildlife that had been illegally trafficked, and educating others through his work.
3. Raphel bypassed furthering his science studies to focus on science communication, “with a special focus on motivating people to act now.” In Aug. 2019 he shared on IG that, “I’ve been accepted onto a Master’s course in Conservation and Biodiversity,” but that, “I’ve come to the difficult decision that in our current state of crisis, I couldn’t properly devote time to my studies while the situation worsens and people give up everything to fight for a better future. Latin America, the continent that stole my heart, is calling for help. I cannot stand by while she burns.” At the time, the Amazon rainforest in Brazil was suffering from extreme wildfires.
4. Raphael was a certified scuba diving instructor. At various times as an adult, he worked at the Manta Rhei Dive Center in Komodo, Indonesia, leading diving trips. Iggy would document sea creatures he encountered on his dives, including Hawksbill sea turtle, Lionfish and manta rays, and share the pics to his Instagram account.
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
5. Raphael’s family was so proud of his work as an environmentalist and wildlife advocate. His mother Liz Jensen 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.”