Ben Watkins, MasterChef Junior Alum, Dead at 14 of Rare Cancer

Ben Watkins Masterchef Junior Contestant Dies

Fox and the producers of MasterChef Junior are paying tribute to former contestant Ben Watkins, who died Monday after battling a rare cancer. He was 14.

In a joint statement, Fox and EndemolShine North America said, “It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Ben Watkins, a beloved member of the MasterChef Junior family. Ben overcame so much in his life with a remarkably positive attitude. He was a tremendous role model for chefs of all ages and will be dearly missed by everyone at EndemolShine North America and Fox Entertainment.”

In 2019, Watkins — who appeared in MasterChef Junior‘s sixth season — was diagnosed with Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, an extremely rare soft tissue tumor. His death comes three years after his parents were killed in a domestic violence incident.

“Despite all the pain and sickness Ben went through, he never complained, not once,” Watkins uncle/guardian Anthony Edwards told the Chicago Tribune. “We were praying for a different outcome. But Ben’s lungs could no longer give him the air he needed to breathe. It’s been devastating.”