Billy Kametz, best known for his work as a voice actor, died Thursday June 9 after battling colon cancer. He was 35 years old.
News of his death was shared on his GoFundMe page, which was created shortly after he shared his diagnosis in April. The page’s organizer, his events agent A. Jinnie McManus, shared the tragic news in an update to the page, along with the actor’s obituary, and kindly addressed his followers.
“Anyone who has met Billy Kametz will tell you that he is one of the warmest, kindest, and most sincere human beings on this earth,” the page read. “Laughing quickly with his infectious smile, he brings joy to everyone around him, whether it’s a room full of friends and family, gracious fans at conventions, or more recently, the nurses and doctors who treated him at the hospital. “
“Most importantly, I hope you know how appreciated you all were and how much strength you provided. Billy and I regularly shared thoughts of disbelief and joy at the sheer generosity everyone gave him,” the GoFundMe update read. “Know that he left this world in peace, knowing how loved he is and always will be. I miss my friend terribly. But I take comfort in knowing that his legacy will continue with the work of him and all the fans who are even now discovering what an extraordinary man he was.”
According to his obituary, Kametz was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on March 22, 1987. He had a dream of being an actor since he was a child and got his big break when he joined the entertainment staff at Disney Cruise Line before moving on. to California five years ago when he was offered the role of Aladdin in “Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.”
In recent years, Kametz became well known for his work as a voice actor for video game and anime characters, including the characters of Josuke Higashikata in “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, Ren in “Pokémon Journeys”, and Shigeru Aoba in “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. “. He also won the award for Best English Voice Acting at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards for his work as Naofumi Iwatani in “The Rising of the Shield Hero”.
Beyond his acting roles and work, Kametz’s obituary noted that he was perhaps best known for his sincerity and loving personality.
“Her infectious personality and smile always lit up a room with such joy and happiness,” her obituary read. “Billy always left a positive impression on anyone he came into contact with. His love for his family, friends and girlfriend was always the most important thing to him and that love will continue forever.”
On April 26, Kametz posted a video on his social media sharing that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. At the time, he said he was “fine” and had a support team of doctors and specialists behind him. He said that he had already started chemotherapy treatments and that he was having radiation to various areas of his spine.
“It sucks, it’s just a freak of nature that happened that I have to deal with now and we will,” Kametz said, later adding, “I stay very positive, and that’s the main reason I wanted to do this video. It’s just to let you guys know that I have so much support, so much positivity around me… I just want you to know that I’m not going to quit, I’m not going to stop fighting, and I’m going to get through this.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the US and the third leading cause of cancer death in US men and women combined.
Some of the most common symptoms of colon cancer include unintentional weight loss, weakness and fatigue, blood in the stool, and abdominal pain and cramping. The disease can be beaten in 90 percent of cases that are caught early, according to Stand Up to Cancer.
Many people think of colorectal cancer as a disease of older people, but an alarming rise in the number of younger Americans being diagnosed is prompting calls to start screening earlier.
Tributes poured out on social media following the news of Kametz’s death.
“You were one of the best of us…another light gone too soon,” one person wrote on Facebook. “Everything about you made me smile. Knowing that you are gone too soon only brings tears. I am grateful that you are no longer suffering, however, I know that we miss you dearly here on Earth. We love you Billy, always and forever” .