Actor David Oyelowo, who is best known for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 movie Selma, shared some heartbreaking news on Instagram Friday. His father died this week following a battle with colon cancer. Oyelowo wrote that his heart is "at peace" since his father's "pain is now over."
"It is with a heavy heart that I bring the news of the passing of my BELOVED father. My brothers and I knew him as our protector, guardian, hero, encourager and our lovely Daddy," Oyelowo wrote, noting that his father was known to many for his Instagram page, @the_leaf_blower, where he shared videos of himself using leaf blowers. "You wouldn’t know it, but my Dad had been in a years-long battle with colon cancer," Oyelowo continued. "My heart is at peace because his pain is now over and the real victory has been won because I know he is now with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
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Oyelowo's father "fought so hard to stick around" for his children and grandchildren. "He would often say to me, 'God has so much in store for you, and I want to be here to see it,'" Oyelowo wrote. In their last conversation, Oyelowo asked his father if he was "ready" to be with his mother. "Yes," his father replied.
"He passed away peacefully this week and I truly believe he’s now reunited with my mum in heaven, and although I will never truly get over losing him, my heart is full at the thought of him with my mother again," Oyelowo wrote. "He loved her so much. Thank you to all who loved him, 'followed' him, and celebrated this most transcendent of human beings. He loved you all. Giving love was his special gift, his true talent, his greatest example. Rest well, Daddy."
Dozens of celebrities shared their condolences to Oyelowo and his family. "David!!! My deepest condolences to you and your family," Octavia Spencer wrote. "What a sweet sweet man. I feel honored to have known him and been close to his bright bright light. Rest in love," Olivia Munn added. "Oh David I am so truly sorry for you and your family," Lily Collins wrote. "What a light your father was and will always be. Sending all my love and hugs."
Aside from his performance in Selma, Oyelowo also starred in Lee Daniels' The Butler, A Most Violent Year, Queen of Katwe, and The Cloverfield Paradox. His next film is The Water Man, which also marks his debut as a director. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month and also stars Rosario Dawson. He also stars in George Clooney's upcoming Netflix movie, The Midnight Sky.