He was a well-loved figure around the world.
During the more than quarter-century that Mandela was jailed, his freedom became synonymous with his country’s freedom.
From the 1960s, when he was a political prisoner under South Africa’s apartheid system, to recent years, when he became one of the world’s most admired people – Nelson Mandela inspired artists, musicians, poets and many more, all keen to meet this living icon.
Around the world, celebrities have been reacting to the news of his death:
“Well I’ve been expecting it for some time. We just presented his movie here with his daughter Zindzi last week with Anant Singh, who produced it. And I’ve been in touch with the family so I know what’s been going on, but it’s hard. It’s almost 50 years of me with him,” said producer and composer Quincy Jones.
“I heard about it. I was, obviously, sad and moved, but I can’t think of a life that was more well lived than his,” said actress Molly Ringwald.
Brad Pitt said he would remember Mandela as someone who changed the world:
“As a game changer. As a world changer. One of the guys who will be on our walls for many centuries,” said the actor.
“His legacy to the world is incredibly important. It’s symbolic and real as well. Because someone who stays 20 years in jail and comes out full of forgiveness, I think it’s a legacy to everyone of us,” said France’s former First Lady, Carla Burni-Sarkozy.
“His life has been an incredible inspiration of struggle. It hasn’t been a perfect life, nor does he ever think it, or the perfect man. But he was the perfect guy and he had that kind of force of will. And he stood up and he just said no,” said actor Kevin Costner.
The historical figure of Mandela has featured in countless films, played by some of Hollywood’s greatest. Among them, Morgan Freeman, in Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus,” is one of the most memorable.
The latest, a biopic based on his memoirs entitled “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” was released earlier this month.