'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Star Jonshel Alexander Killed at 22 Is Survived by 1-Year-Old Daughter

Esther NJeri
Dec 03, 2021
04:00 P.M.
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The beloved ex-child actor, Jonshel Alexander, known for her role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," has passed on. The mother of one was only 12 when she took on the supporting role in the Oscar-nominated drama film.

Jonshel Alexander, 22, met her fateful end last Saturday when an assailant opened fire at them, then fled. She was in the company of a male friend inside a car in the 1500 block of North Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Alexander had already lost her life by the time the paramedics arrived at the scene. Her male companion, though wounded, had driven himself to hospital for treatment.

Actresses Jonshel Alexander and Quvenzhane Wallis on the dance floor at Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" After Party on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana | Getty Images

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According to DailyMail, the police suspect that Alexander might not have been the target of the shooting. They released photos of the suspect in a blue ski mask.

He was standing beside a maroon pickup truck. The authorities later found the vehicle torched miles away from the crime scene. 

ALEXANDER CAST AS JOY STRONG

At only 12 years old, Alexander was determined to be on the cast of the "Beasts of the Southern Wild." The director, Behn Zeitlin, was looking for Louisiana natives to play the lead roles, and Alexander fit the bill perfectly. 

Actresses Jonshel Alexander and Quvenzhane Wallis on the dance floor at Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" After Party on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana | Getty Images

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She beat over 4,000 other contestants to land one of the several primary roles. Her mother, Shelly Alexander, says her daughter captivated the filmmakers and landed the role fair and square. 

Fascinated by the 12-year-old, Zeitlin described her as an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind, and force-of-nature. She was too old to play the lead role "Hushpuppy," so she got the supporting role as Joy Strong. 

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The drama film chronicled around and told the story of a poverty-stricken bayou community that struggled to survive. The film bagged the Grand Jury Prixe and got nominated for four Academy Awards.

LIFE AFTER "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD"

Despite the success of her first film, Alexander had no desire to pursue a career in film further. She enrolled in Martin Luther King Jr Charter School, graduating in 2017. In 2020, she became a mother to daughter, De-vynne Robinson. 

After graduating high school, she began working as a restaurant hostess and dedicated her life to being a wonderful mother to her baby girl. 

The youngest of three children, Alexander was a bright burning light, and everyone seemed to love her. Zeitlin was devastated by the news of Alexander's demise but has since been in touch with the family.

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