Samantha Weinstein, an actor who starred in the 2013 remake of “Carrie” and roles in several cartoons, has passed away. She was 28.
Her father David Weinstein confirmed in a statement to USA TODAY on Thursday that she died of ovarian cancer on May 14 at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of tributes to Samantha,” he said. “She led a very full, charmed and authentic life. She was very passionate about her art and worked until her last days voicing animated characters and living as full a life as possible.”
He also shared that the photos posted to Samantha’s unverified Instagram on May 15 were taken by the actor herself to be used in her farewell message. The photos show her smiling and floating in the cosmos.
“After two and a half years of cancer treatment and a lifetime of jet-setting around the world, voicing a plethora of cartoon animals, making music and knowing more about life than most people will ever know, she’s going on her next adventure ,” the message reads.
Weinstein continued to live a full life while undergoing cancer treatment. She married Michael Knutson on October 29, 2022 and the two honeymooned in Japan.
In an article for Love What Matters published last July, Weinstein, who also performed in a punk rock band called Killer Virgins, reflected on being diagnosed with cancer at age 25 and falling in love with Knutson. The two went on their first date a week after her cancer diagnosis.
“The first dates were nerve wracking enough, but the week before I had received terrible news: it was cancer. Talk about scaring a man off!” she wrote. Eyes fixed on the dirt floor of the dog park, I told him I had been diagnosed with a rare ovarian germ cell yolk sac tumor and would start chemotherapy in a few months. I held my breath, squinted my eyes fell closed and waited for the inevitable rejection…but it never came.”
She continued, “As my hormones were racing through IVF injections, we yelled at each other as we built an IKEA vanity and collapsed on the floor laughing. When my hair started to fall out, we shaved our heads together. Then my fingers turning black from nerve damage, he took me out for ice cream and held the cone. He taught me that love is selfless and reminded me to let others take care of me too.”
Weinstein wrote that she and Knutson started talking about their marriage shortly after their first date. At their wedding, after their first dance to “Don’t Yah Feel Better?” from The Velveteins, they embarked on a choreographed lightsaber duel.
“I said instead of a first dance we should have a lightsaber duel. 20 months, 10 rounds of chemo and a lifetime of memories later, here we are,” she wrote on Instagram, adding that they were going for a “pretend “-fighting-in-your-parents-basement feeling.”
Weinstein wrote in her Love What Matters piece that she also came to terms with her sexuality and gender identity after her cancer diagnosis, coming out as “bisexual/pansexual” and non-binary to her parents and to Knutson, who all accepted her .
“Something I’ve learned in the 18 months since I was first diagnosed is that the worst things in the world can turn out to be incredible blessings wrapped in sandpaper,” she wrote. “Getting cancer is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, but in the strangest ways, it’s also been the best. I’m still living with cancer and with my parents, as the future is uncertain (on the bright side, we’ve never been been so close!). I continue to work towards my dream career as a voice actor. I have more love in my life and for myself than I could have ever imagined, and I see every day as a gift. There are still days when I don’t can stop crying – i’m in pain, or my thoughts are getting the better of me – but i’m learning to let my loved ones help carry the burden ok so maybe saying cancer is the best thing to do that ever happened to me is a bit far-fetched, but it’s certainly not a witch’s curse… and if it is, then that witch sure has a sense of humour.”
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