How Did Raphael Coleman Die? 'Nanny McPhee' Actor Dead At 25

How Did Raphael Coleman Die? 'Nanny McPhee' Actor Dead At 25
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Raphael Coleman, who was also known as James "Iggy" Fox, has died. The 25-year-old starred in the movie Nanny McPhee in 2005 before leaving the film industry to pursue a career in zoology. 

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Since about 2017, Coleman has been traveling the world doing work with rescued wildlife and climate activism. He was an active member of the group Extinction Rebellion and had been arrested several times in Brazil as part of protests the group staged over loss habitat in the rainforests. 

The former child actor passed away suddenly this week, much to the distress of his mother and stepfather Liz and Carsten Jensen. 

How did Raphael Coleman die?

1. Who was Raphael Coleman?

Coleman was born in London in 1994. His mother is Liz Jenson and his stepfather Carsten Jensen has apparently been in Coleman's life since he was 6 years old. It's unclear to us who or where his bio-father is at this time. Carsten Jensen remembers Coleman as a precocious child saying, "As a child, he was old-wise, extremely literate and loved to lecture adults with his always astonishing knowledge."

2. He starred in Nanny McPhee when he was 11 years old. 

Coleman was cast in Nanny McPhee in 2005, where he played rambunctious Eric Brown, one of seven children watched over by Emma Thompson in the title role of Nanny McPhee. He went on to play several other roles in films, including It's Alive and The Fourth Kind

3. Coleman's real love was science.

Eventually, Coleman decided to walk away from acting and pursue his real passion: science. He attended the University of Manchester, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree for Zoology in 2017. He had the opportunity to go on with his studies but opted to defer his next degree program in order to be more involved in climate activism and work in the field. 

Coleman with a red howler monkey at a wildlife rescue in Bolivia.

4. He used science and creativity to fund travel and work around the world.

On his website, The Wilderlost, he explained that he was trying to travel and do the work he loved, which meant using his skills as a photographer and filmmaker to support himself. "I'm a twenty-something Zoology graduate traveling the world on a shoestring budget, working with wildlife and exploring wildernesses," he explained. "Work in my field often doesn't pay, so I'm trying to make money online through photojournalism and filmmaking as I travel."

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He also kept active on social media, sharing photos of places he traveled, as well as the animals he worked with wildlife rescues. ​

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5. He decided to live his mission full-time. 

 e joined forces with Extinction Rebellion, a group dedicated to "an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse." They engage in non-violent protest and often get arrested as part of the efforts to raise awareness. 

In an article he wrote for their website under the name Iggy Fox he explained his thinking. "After seven years studying, researching and protecting nature as a wildlife conservationist, I stopped fieldwork and deferred an MSC in order to rebel full-time. Because no matter how many surveys I ran, how many turtle nests I protected, or how many young people I educated about ‘sustainability’, the seas kept rising, forests kept burning, plastic kept clogging the beaches, and our data kept showing that wildlife was being decimated." 

6. He passed away suddenly this week at the age of 25.

On February 7, Coleman's other posted a heartbreaking message on her Twitter feed. "Rest in peace my beloved son Raphael Coleman, aka Iggy Fox," she wrote. "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."

His stepfather confirmed the tragic news saying, "I guess there's nothing that makes you see death as unfair and meaningless as when a young person dies. It's life itself that's sabotaged. It just happened to my wife, Liz, whose youngest son, Raph of only 25, died last Friday."

7. How did Raphael Coleman die?

There are very few details about Coleman's sudden death. It's not even clear where he was when he passed away. His step-father only said, "He collapsed without prior health problems in the middle of a trip and could not be restored." 

Jensen remember Coleman fondly, saying "Death turned off Ralph, 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.”

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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