Raphael Coleman, a former child actor who appeared in 2005’s “Nanny McPhee” and dedicated his adult life to climate change activism, has died at age 25.
According to a lengthy and verified Facebook post from Carsten Jensen, Coleman’s stepfather and a Danish author and columnist, Coleman died Friday after collapsing from existing health problems “in the middle of a trip and could not be restored.”
Coleman’s first and most notable acting role was Eric, the redheaded smarty-pants child – one of seven of Colin Firth’s character’s children – in Emma Thompson’s “Nanny McPhee.” He was 11 at the time of the film’s release.
The rest of his acting credits include the horror film “It’s Alive,” sci-fi/thriller “The Fourth Kind” and short film “Edward’s Turmoil,” all released in 2009.
“As a child, he was old-wise, extremely literate and loved to lecture adults with his always astonishing knowledge,” Jensen wrote, describing Coleman’s “Nanny McPhee” role as one in which he “played himself with great talent, a little redhead boy who was always mixing explosive chemical ingredients. He had several roles, was rewarded and could have chosen a career as an actor. But he wanted to be a scientist, not to blow up something, as his figure in ‘Nanny Mcphee,’ but to save the planet.”
Coleman, who went by Iggy Fox online, studied zoology and advocated for wildlife preservation and climate change awareness, according to Jensen. He said Coleman was “one of the first and most active members” of Extinction Rebellion, a British climate change activism group.
“Iggy was a burning bright soul and he will be deeply missed by us all,” read a tribute on the Extinction Rebellion website.
Coleman’s website bio said he was “born and raised in London” and “made on the road.”
“Death turned off raph, but it did not turn off the light that burned in him, because no one who has known him has been unaffected by it or will forget it, and that is how he lives on,” Jensen wrote.