Coronji Calhoun Sr., 'Monster's Ball' Child Star, Dead at 30

Coronji Calhoun Sr., the actor who played Halle Berry's son in Monster's Ball, has died. Calhoun passed away on Oct. 13 of congestive heart failure and problems with his lungs, his mother, Theresa Bailey, confirmed to CBS affiliate 4WWL. Calhoun was 30.

In the wake of his passing, Calhoun's family has created a GoFundMe page to give the 30-year-old "a sacred celebration of life." According to the page, Calhoun was laid to rest on Nov. 10. The page has raised nearly $12,000 of its $14,000 goal, with both Berry and Lee Daniels, the producer of Monster's Ball, appearing to have each donated $3,394.

"On behalf of the Calhoun and Bailey family, I would like to thank each and every individual who found it in their hearts to extend the much needed financial support to lay Coronji Sr. to rest," Bailey wrote on the page. "We are blown away by the outpouring of love the community and Coronji's adopted family has shown during our process of grief. While the financial burden has been lifted, we still mourn the loss of my son. As we close this chapter, we ask that in your remembrance of him, you remember to love your neighbor as yourself, because that is what Coronji did for his entire community."

Calhoun was well known for his portrayal of Tyrell, the son of Berry and Sean "Diddy" Combs' characters, in the Oscar-winning 2001 film Monster's Ball. According to SF Gate, Calhoun was just 10 when he landed the role, his only acting credit, after attending an open casting call in Louisiana. The film centers on the relationship between Leticia Musgrove (Berry) and Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), who spark a relationship while unaware that she is the widow of a man (Sean Combs) he assisted in executing. Tyrell was Berry's artistically talented son, who she physically and emotionally abuses for his obesity, a dynamic that Berry previously admitted she struggled with.

"That scene was actually harder for me [than the film's famous love scene] because he's a real little boy with a real weight problem and he has real issues surrounding it himself," Berry said in a 2001 interview, according to the BBC. "And he was not an actor. [Director Marc Forster] just plucked him out of obscurity in Louisiana, so he really didn't understand the process, or so I thought. I talked a lot with him and his mother and I explained and explained, so before every take I would hug him and kiss him, and after every take I'd hug him and kiss him."


Calhoun was one of six children. He leaves behind a 10-year-old son and 13-year-old stepson. A funeral for Calhoun took place on Nov. 10.