Jamie Foxx is leading tributes to his Djano Unchained co-star Keith Jefferson, who has died two months after sharing his cancer diagnosis, aged 53.
Jefferson had featured in several major projects in his career, including in the ensemble of the Quentin Tarantino films Django Unchained (2012), The Hateful Eight (2015) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
Most recently, the actor starred in the legal drama film The Burial, with close friend Foxx in the lead role.
Foxx, 55, and Jefferson had collaborated on several films, and considered each other close friends since meeting as students at US International University in San Diego.
On Thursday (5 October), the They Cloned Tyrone actor shared a picture of himself and Jefferson in a handshake pose by the stairs of a private plane. In a caption, he paid tribute to his late friend.
“Everything hurts right now,” Foxx began. “Having a hard time looking through these pictures, reliving the memories of us having a great time, going to miss you man gonna miss you…ever since we met back in college, you have been in incredible soul.
“God rest, NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE TO SEE THE WORDS ABOUT MY FRIEND RIP.”
Foxx concluded his message with four broken heart emojis.
In response to his post, fans and fellow entertainment industry figures added their own messages of condolences for Jefferson, as well as their fond memories of working with him.
“Rest easy Keith! God bless,” wrote Night School actor Bresha Webb.
Girlfriends and Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil added: “Sorry Jamie. Sending love and hugs.”
Costume designer Arianne Phillips also shared her upset at Jefferson’s death in a comment. “I am devastated to read this. I met Keith when we worked on Once Upon A Time in Hollywood together… Keith was such a kind person, his warmth and humour resonated and we stayed in touch. His commitment to his art, craft, to his friends and family was stellar.”
As well as his film roles, Jefferson had performed in stage roles in productions such as Big River, Othello, Superior Donuts and Piano Lesson.
In August, Jefferson revealed to his social media followers that he’d been privately receiving treatment for cancer.
“Every now and then God will give you a challenge and leave it up to you to fix it,” he captioned an image of himself in a hospital bed.
“When I was first diagnosed with cancer I had to stop, pause, and didn’t want to share with anyone. Not my family nor extended family. Today I’m finally at a place to share because my faith is getting stronger. I have a loving family and the best friends in the entire world. You know who you are.
“From my Mom to J Foxx and everybody in between. I love you whole heartedly.”