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Many hearts are heavy right now as people think of actress Regina King and her family following the loss of her son, Ian Alexander Jr. News of the 26-year-old’s passing came from King early Saturday (January 22) morning, with the star sharing with PEOPLE that her son “is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others.” Most important it seems was the happiness of King to him. Since he was a young boy, he was by her side on the red carpet as she worked to get her career to where it is now. He also watched her juggle her many roles with her most important role of all, being his mom. “To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable,” he wrote in an ode to her on her birthday last January. “The whole marvel universe ain’t got sh-t on you, your [sic] the real superhero!”

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