Sad news today for Jennette McCurdy, the 21-year-old star of Nickelodeon's Sam & Cat and iCarly.
According to TMZ, her mother, Debra McCurdy, has passed away. Debra had been fighting cancer for about 18 years — most of Jennette's life — and even though it went into remission, it returned and spread quickly, including into her brain.
TMZ says Jennette has canceled her plans to host Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play, which was scheduled in New York City this weekend.
In 2011, Jennette wrote a piece for the Wall-Street Journal called "Off-Camera, My Mom's Fight With Cancer." Her mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in March 1995. Jennette was two at the time and her brothers were five, seven, and 11. Thankfully, Debra survived; unfortunately, in February 2010, her cancer returned and spread throughout her body.
“When I’m around my mom, I try to act like nothing’s wrong,” Jennette wrote at the time. “She does a great job of that herself. She can barely stand, yet she gets up before me in the morning so that she can make me a mug of hot chocolate. I don’t know how she does it, but she claims it’s what makes her happy.”
“If you’re reading this and you were one of those people who thought, 'young actors have perfect lives,' I hope that you will think differently now,” she continued. “We do have challenges. We do cry. We are experiencing difficult things. But we will continue to smile and crack jokes because, as entertainers, even if we’re privately struggling with painful trials, our job is to make others forget theirs.”
It's so hard to lose a parent at any age, but 21 is really young for such a loss. But it sounds like her poor mother had been suffering for a while. Our hearts go out to the family. Jennette only recently started dating Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, after connecting over Twitter. Hopefully he can be there for her now in this difficult time.