From the outside, it would appear that former Disney Channel actress and singer Dove Cameron lives a charmed life. But behind her accomplishments and her megawatt smile lies a harrowing past full of tragedy, dark moments, and depression — all before she even entered her 20s. Here is Dove Cameron’s tragic real-life story.
Teenage trauma Cameron gave an interview to Yahoo in which she revealed that she was traumatized by bullies during her formative years. She explained that a group of girls once locked her in a janitor’s closet, while other students would try to trip her as she walked down the hallways. But it was an incident during a school field trip that was the most jarring: a group of girls threw razors at her and suggested she take her own life. Family tragedy According to Entertainment Weekly, when Cameron was just 15 years old, her family was struck by tragedy when her father took his own life. Cameron has remained pretty quiet about the details of his passing, but, over the years, she has shed a little bit of light about their relationship. In 2016, she posted a touching tribute to her father on her Instagram account.
A portion of the caption read, “You set me up for the best life imaginable, and I plan to make you proud every single day and never waste it. I love you eternally, and can’t wait to see you again, maybe in our next life as we find each other over and over.” Dad’s secret In a July 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cameron opened up about the loss of her father and revealed some surprising information, sharing, “He also was closeted, which we only found out after he died.” Learning that her dad was gay provided her with a great deal of clarity. And her fans may be able to learn even more about her dad’s life one day if things go as planned.
She revealed, “I’d really like to write a movie about him one day, because my dad was just the most fascinating human being.” Anxiety issues Cameron has used Twitter to talk about important issues that not only she has dealt with but that many kids experience.
After one follower asked if she suffered from anxiety, Cameron candidly answered, tweeting, “Yes but it has made me that much more disciplined in my thoughts. So it has been a blessing in disguise.” In a subsequent interview with Just Jared Jr., the Disney alum shared that it was her, quote, “craziest childhood imaginable” that sent her into a tailspin. She explained that she made the decision to “power through” it, and said, “Anxiety is up and down. And anxiety comes and goes. So I don’t ever really feel full days of that. And if I do, I keep going, like I know it’s going to pass.”
TV troubles Following her dad’s passing, Cameron and her mom moved to Los Angeles, where she battled with depression and found that acting helped her work through it. She told Entertainment Weekly, “I felt very vulnerable, so I locked myself in this emotional nobody-can-touch-me kind of zone. And the only way I could really get out of that was by being somebody else.” Once she landed the breakout role on Liv and Maddie, she began having what she describes as “panic attacks.” The stress of processing her dad’s passing while being in front of the cameras was just too much for her to handle. She went on to say, “I finally got clear-eyed when I realized that Disney Channel is for kids. And I love kids.
I started to cry all over again. Because what a treat, to be able to be someone for kids, to be a good role model, to be a big sister because I never was one.” Tragedy strikes again Nearly five years after her father’s untimely passing, Cameron had to deal with yet another tragic event when The Voice contestant and YouTube star Christina Grimmie was fatally shot by a crazed fan. Cameron and Grimmie were friends, and had even collaborated on the 2015 song “What A Girl Is.” Upon hearing the news, which happened just two days before an Orlando nightclub shooting that took 49 lives, Cameron took to her Twitter to express her grief and anguish over both incidents, tweeting, “I am so sad. How can you move on from a weekend like this. I love every single one of you. Humanity is confusing. Love as much as you can.” Disney doubts Cameron admitted she struggled at first with the filming schedule of Liv and Maddie while trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance — something that many other Disney stars before her had struggled with. She told Playbill, “It was a long period of time where I was really struggling with the energy, and the workload, and shooting everything twice, then recording on the weekends, and still sleeping, and having a social life.” It even came to a point where she considered walking away from the series. She shared, “There was definitely a time when I[told my mom, ‘I literally think I’m not capable of doing this. I do not think I will survive this. I think I am going to let all of Disney Channel down.’
In the end, she decided to stick with the show up until it came to an end after four seasons. She was able to execute the roles of both characters so seamlessly that viewers were likely none the wiser about the inner turmoil she faced.