Austin Butler reflects on heartbreak of losing his mother to cancer

Austin Butler reflects on the profound impact of losing his mother to cancer and credits her for his acting career.

Pop Culture & Art June 23, 2024

Austin Butler, the 32-year-old actor known for his roles in "Elvis" and "The Carrie Diaries," has shared his enduring grief over losing his mother, Lori, to cancer when he was 23. In an interview with Adelaide Now, Butler described his mother as a kind and bright presence in his life, saying, "She was a person who was just so kind to everybody that she came in contact with and I hope to be even just a little bit like her in that way."

Butler credited his mother and father for their unwavering support, stating, "I just have to credit my parents, you know, my mum was my best friend." He revealed that Lori saw his passion for acting early on and supported him by quitting her job to drive him to auditions and acting classes. "I owe her for everything," Butler told The Hollywood Reporter.

Reflecting on his mother's death in 2014, Butler admitted, "After my mum passed away, I'd never experienced pain like that before, and I started to question if acting was 'a noble profession.'" He shared that during this period, he struggled with grief while filming a series in New Zealand, often crying every night after shooting.

Butler explained that this time of profound loss led him to reconsider his career, eventually taking a break from acting. "I thought, 'I've got a little bit of money in the bank. I'll just take time off,'" he said. However, this break resulted in a deep depression lasting six to eight months.

His career took a positive turn when he sent an audition tape for the Broadway show "The Iceman Cometh," starring Denzel Washington. Being cast in the show marked a significant turning point for Butler. "That was the moment that changed my career," he said.

Butler has publicly honored his mother on several occasions, including during his 2022 appearance as the host of "Saturday Night Live." In his opening monologue, he shared how his mother's encouragement helped him overcome his "crippling shyness" and how making her laugh inspired his acting career. He emotionally dedicated his performance on SNL to her, saying, "That's for you, mum."


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