Matt Damon’s father has died in Massachusetts at age 74 after a long battle with cancer.
Kent Damon passed away on December 14 after suffering of complications from multiple myeloma, a rare blood disease that affects bone marrow.
Kent’s condition had worsened in recent months, with Matt asking fans to pray for his ailing father a few weeks ago.
Sad news: Matt Damon’s father Kent has died, aged 74, after a long battle with cancer… shortly after the actor begged fans to pray for his ailing dad [pictured in 2007]
Speaking to Extra, Matt said: ‘It’s been a slow unfolding; my dad’s sick, so that’s been a process we’re going through. We’ll take any prayers you got, so throw ’em up there.’
Matt has worked to raise awareness and money for cancer research and treatment since his father was diagnosed in 2010.
The Good Will Hunting and Jason Bourne star hosted private fundraisers in Los Angeles and attended benefits for the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cancer Center in Boston.
At a benefit for Massachusetts General Hospital, the actor told WCVB-TV that while the disease is incurable, his father was doing well and will ‘fight it to a standstill’.
Tragic loss: Kent Damon passed away on December 14 after suffering of complications from multiple myeloma, a rare blood disease that affects bone marrow [pictured in 2010]
Close: Kent had been battling the bone marrow cancer for many years; but Matt had to pull out of the BAFTA Britannia Awards in October due to a ‘family emergency’ to return home to Boston where he was said to have gone to be at his father’s side
Kent had been battling the bone marrow cancer for many years; but Matt had to pull out of the BAFTA Britannia Awards in October due to a ‘family emergency’ to return home to Boston where he was said to have gone to be at his father’s side.
Kate Mara gave a touching speech about the Suburbicon star before taking the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film accolade on his behalf.
She explained: ‘Unfortunately Matt has urgently needed to travel to Boston and couldn’t join us tonight.
‘As much as we wish he was here with us, we know family comes first. So our thoughts are with you, Matt, and much love from your friends here in LA.’
Controversy: Matt Damon’s controversial comments about sexual abuse in Hollywood may be about to harm his career. The 47-year-old actor is pictured here on December 11
And Matt said in a video message: ‘Hello and thank you to everyone at BAFTA. I found out about this award six months ago and I was just so incredibly honoured to receive it and I was really looking forward to tonight.
‘Unfortunately, I had to go back to Boston for a family emergency. I’m really sorry not to be with you tonight. Thank you for this wonderful honour and I hope you have a lovely evening. See you soon.’
He also had to skip the recent premiere of his film Downsizing which to some was a sign that he may be staying out of the spotlight for a while.
When speaking of Damon’s absence, a representative for Paramount Pictures told the Hollywood Reporter he was out of town tending to a ‘family matter’ related to his ill father.
But Kent’s death comes as Matt’s own behaviour has been under scrutiny in recent weeks, following controversial comments he made about sexual abuse in Hollywood.
It was announced on Friday that over 20,000 people had signed a petition calling on the 47-year-old actor’s cameo in the upcoming all female Ocean’s 11 reboot, titled Ocean’s 8, to be scrapped.
The outrage, according to the petition’s author, is due in part to ‘an interview where [Damon] said he’d still work people who had been accused of sexual misconduct, on a “case-by-case” basis.’
The petition was directed towards Ocean’s 8 producers George Clooney – who is good friends with Damon – and Steven Soderbergh.
In the petition Matt was called ‘gross’ for his comments on sexual abuse that many saw as not appropriate.
Comments on the petition range from supportive of the Suburbicon star, to scathing of his recent words.
‘As a woman I support Matt DAmon whole heartedly [sic],’ wrote one fan.
While another stated bluntly: ‘Matt Damon clearly does not understand the severity of the problems faced by women. He should have no part in a female-empowering film. Or any film.’
The 2018 heist movie stars a slew of A-list actresses including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna.
In an interview with Business Insider, the Jason Bourne star was asked if he would work with people accused of sexual assault.
Damon answered that he would consider it on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.
‘That always went into my thinking. I mean, I wouldn’t want to work with somebody who—life’s too short for that.
‘But the question of if somebody had allegations against them, you know, it would be a case-by-case basis. You go, “What’s the story here?”‘
Star power: The 2018 heist movie stars a slew of A-list actresses including Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson and Rihanna [pictured]
It got even worse when he said that the ‘rotten apples’ are only about 1 percent of the industry and there are plenty of good men.
‘We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole s**tload of guys – the preponderance of men I’ve worked with – who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected.’
He also said to ABC: ‘We’re going to have to figure — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?’
He added, ‘Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?’
Range of emotions: Comments on the petition range from supportive of the Suburbicon star, to scathing of his recent words
His ex-girlfriend Minnie Driver, who worked with him on 1997’s Good Will Hunting, has publicly reacted to his comments.
‘Good God, seriously?’ Driver tweeted in response to his claim.
The mother-of-one said: ‘You don’t get to be hierarchical with abuse. And you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isn’t as great as a woman who was raped.’
She also told The Guardian that men ‘simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level’ and should not therefore attempt to differentiate or explain sexual misconduct against women.
He has also been criticized for working with Harvey Weinstein after the former Miramax mogul harassed Gwyneth Paltrow.