In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2022
The acting community has lost a bright star.
Billy Kametz—who provided the voice of Ren on the TV series Pokémon—died on June 9 following a battle with colon cancer. He was 35 years old.
“Billy lived his dream as a fan of Japanese animation and video games who grew up to act in beloved roles that will now stand forever as his legacy,” his agent A. Jinnie McManus told PennLive, a local news outlet for Kametz’s home state of Pennsylvania. “At conventions, he was a popular guest who cherished meeting his fans. After all, he was once one of them. Even during the worst of his illness, he remained upbeat and determined. The world is darker without him and I will miss my friend terribly.”
Kametz announced in an April Instagram video that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, which he said had spread to his liver, lungs and spine. At the time, he said he’d undergone chemotherapy and radiation, noting he had “so much positivity surrounding me and so many people giving me strength.”
“I’m not going to quit,” Kametz told his followers. “I’m not gonna stop fighting and I’m going to get through this.”
According to his obituary, Kametz was born in Lancaster, Pa. in 1987 and had “dreamed of becoming an actor since his early childhood.” He worked as part of the entertainment team on the Disney cruise line, the obit continued, and later moved to California to play Aladdin in Disneyland’s Musical Spectacular. Kametz went on to do voiceover work. In addition to providing the voice for Ren in Pokémon, he played Josuke Higashikata in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Naofumi Iwatani in The Rising of the Shield Hero, Galo Thymos in Promare and Ferdinand in the Fire Emblem video games.
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
While fans will remember Kametz for his career as a voice actor, those closest to him will also honor him for his heart.
“Anyone who has met Billy will tell you he is one of the most sincere, humble and loving people they have ever met,” an obituary shared to his GoFundMe page, which had been set up to help cover medical bills and other expenses amid his cancer battle, read. “His infectious personality and smile always lit up a room with so much joy and happiness. Billy always left a positive impression on anyone he came in contact with. His love for his family, friends and girlfriend was always most important to him and that love will carry on forever.”
The GoFundMe page also noted Kametz had been “blown away by the very large outpouring of support and love he received” during his fight against colon cancer.
“Most importantly, I hope you know how appreciated you all were and how much strength you provided,” a note from his agent also read. “Billy and I would regularly share thoughts of disbelief and joy at the outpouring of generosity you all gave him. Know that he left this world peacefully, knowing how loved he is and always will be. I miss my friend terribly. But it comforts me that his legacy will continue with his work and all of the fans who are even now discovering what an extraordinary man he was.”
E! News has reached out to Kametz’s agent for comment but has yet to hear back.
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