The mother of Nickelodeon actress Jennette McCurdy passed away on Friday, according to TMZ. Debra McCurdy had suffered from breast cancer for 17 years. The illness eventually went into remission but reportedly returned in 2010.
The iCarly alum and current star of Sam & Cat was scheduled to appear in New York City this weekend as part of Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play. The event encourages kids to turn off their televisions and have fun outside. But Jennette McCurdy has canceled the gig in light of her mother's tragic death.
Jennette McCurdy wrote about her mom's battle with cancer in a 2011 piece for Wall Street Journal.
"I can't imagine how difficult it must be for my mother to tolerate all she has gone through and continues to go through — the pain, the worry and the battle," the actress wrote. "She wakes up every day hurting and goes to sleep hurting even more. My mother, the constant optimist and effervescent, sprightly woman I know her to be, is caged along with this hideous beast they call cancer."
Ironically, Debra McCurdy's original fight with cancer indirectly led to her daughter' career choice. Per the Orange County Register, 3-year-old Jennette McCurdy often watched Star Wars movies with her brothers to keep her mind off her mom's cancer battle. Debra then took her young daughter to see the newest movie in the franchise when she finished with her chemotherapy. This sparked Jennette's love for Hollywood and made her determined to be an actress.
Soon, Jennette McCurdy had guest star roles on shows like CSI, Malcolm In The Middle, Will & Grace, and Zoey 101. Her big break came in 2007, when she was cast as Sam Puckett in the Nick series iCarly. McCurdy starred alongside Miranda Cosgrove as the co-host of a popular Internet series.
iCarly was canceled in 2012, but creator Dan Schneider quickly cast Jennette McCurdy in a spinoff. She now plays the same Sam Puckett character on Sam & Cat alongside fellow young star Ariana Grande. Grande is reprising her character from the now-canceled Victorious.