The Oscar-nominated 2012 film starred 6-year-old Quevenzhané Wallis and in the movie, Alexander portrayed her friend, Joy.
It was almost a decade ago when Beasts of the Southern Wild took over the industry. The acclaimed film starred a young Quvenzhané Wallis in her breakout role at just six-years-old opposite Dwight Henry, who portrayed her father in the Lousiana bayou-based flick. It would go on to earn several Academy Award nominations including one for Best Actress. Wallis became the youngest person to earn a nomination in that category at only nine years old.
Jonshel Alexander played a supporting role in the film at 12-years-old. She was too young to take on the lead character of Hushpuppy that went to Wallis, but she was cast as Hushpuppy’s friend, Joy.
Sadly, it has been reported today (December 1) that Alexander, now 22, was found murdered in Louisiana. The Hollywood Reporter has stated that Alexander and an unknown man were in New Orleans when the incident occurred. “Police said Alexander and a man were shot inside a vehicle Saturday in New Orleans and she was pronounced dead at the scene,” the outlet stated. “The man, whose name was not released, drove to a hospital for treatment.”
NOLA.com reported that Alexander was declared dead at the scene of the shooting, so the man she was with may have left her there. It was also reported that the incident occurred at the 1500 block of North Claiborne Avenue at about 9:00 p.m. Alexander leaves behind a young daughter.
“She brought life to everything,” her mother, Shelly Alexander, said. “Jonshel was feisty, jazzy, spoiled. It was her way or no way. Jonshel was like, ‘It’s going to be me.'” We send our sincerest condolences to her loved ones.