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Beasts Of The Southern Wild Star Killed In Shooting

As The Hollywood Reporter revealed, 22-year-old former child actress Jonshel Alexander was recently killed in a shooting. According to police, she and an unnamed man were shot in their vehicle on Saturday, November 27, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene, though the man was able to drive himself to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. As of this writing, the individual responsible has yet to be apprehended or identified.

The youngest between her and her two siblings, Jonshel Alexander displayed a love for the arts and general creative expression all of her life. She was a skilled cheerleader and dancer and even attended modeling and acting schools as she got older. Once Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter High School was in the rearview mirror, she picked up work as a restaurant hostess and went above and beyond to care for her 1-year-old daughter, De-vynne Robinson (via NOLA).

Naturally, Alexander's talent and determination have shone through, allowing her to become one of the standout parts of 2012's "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Alexander impressed everyone with her performance as Joy Strong

To date, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was Jonshel Alexander's most high-profile cinematic credit. At just around 13 years of age, she delivered an impressive performance as Joy Strong that stands as a testament to her passion for her craft. Her mother recalled that "She was like, 'I'm going to be in this movie,'" adding that director Benh Zeitlin and his team "fell in love with Jonshel." In fact, Zeitlin referred to Alexander as an "absolute one-of-a-kind, unforgettable, force-of-nature human being." 

Her natural charisma and infectious energy prompted Zeitlin to create the character of Joy for her since she was too old to play the lead, Hushpuppy — a part that went to Quvenzhané Wallis. "We incorporated a part into the film that was very much inspired by her. So much of the character grew out of who Jonshel was...she was a really bright burning light," Zeitlin said, adding that he was devastated to hear of her untimely death and has since contacted her family.

By all accounts, Jonshel Alexander was a wonderful person and genuine big-screen talent whose presence in "Beasts of the Southern Wild" only served to make the film better. She will be dearly missed.