'Stranger Things' actor Gaten Matarazzo pays tribute as 19-year-old cousin dies in car accident

Gaten Matarazzo attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on January 19, 2020. (Photo by Amy Sussman / WireImage)
Gaten Matarazzo paid tribute to his cousin Joey, who died on Tuesday at the age of 19 after a "terrible car accident".
The actor who plays Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things posted on Instagram to share the sad news when he told fans he loved his late cousin "like a brother".
The 17-year-old shared two relapse photos of himself and his deceased relative and wrote, "It's difficult to find the right words at such a moment. My cousin Joey died this morning after a terrible car accident. He had recently been turned over 19 He was such an important figure in my life and in the life of my whole family. I grew up with him and loved him as if he were my brother.
"I love you, buddy. I will keep the memories I made with you for the rest of my life. There were many tears today, but I know that after drying, we will only look back with a smile on our faces. And even now I can't help but giggle at the little memories that seemed so tiny two days ago, but now mean so much more. "
The Netflix star added that memories "flooded his head" when he continued, "For example, when I kicked your ** at table tennis two weeks ago or when we played violent video games without telling my mother when we were younger and when you, [Matarazo's brother] Carmen and I fought over the top bunk until we gave up and everyone slept on it. I love you. I miss you. Rest well. "
Read more: Hank Williams Jr.'s daughter dies at the age of 27
Matarazzo was flooded with messages of support from friends and fans in the mail.
Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in strange things. (Netflix)
The actor has been featured in Stranger Things since 2016 and has written aspects of his persona into the character, since both Dustin and Matarazzo have cantocranial dysplasia (CCD), a condition that affects the growth of bones and teeth.
He underwent surgery for the rare disorder earlier this year and later confirmed that it was successful.

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