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'Selma' actor Stephan James honors the late John Lewis

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'Selma' actor Stephan James honors the late John Lewis
Stephan James is mourning the death of John Lewis, the civil rights leader he played in the 2014 film, "Selma."  File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 19 (UPI) -- Stephan James, the actor who played John Lewis in the film Selma, paid tribute on Twitter to the late congressman and civil rights icon this weekend.

"Dear John, I remember how small I felt trying to fill your shoes. You were truly a light like no other. I am forever changed having known you. So is the world. Thank you for your life. Thank you for your legacy," James tweeted Saturday, alongside photos of him and Lewis smiling together.

Selma was a 2014, fact-based drama written by Paul Webb and directed by Ava DuVernay.

"Thank you for your care and kindness, your advice and understanding. Will never forget what you taught me and what you challenged me to be. Better. Stronger. Bolder. Braver. God bless you, Ancestor John Robert Lewis of Troy, Alabama. Run into His arms," DuVernay tweeted after Lewis' death was announced.

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Featuring the Oscar-winning song "Glory" by Common and John Legend, Selma starred David Oyelowo as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The movie was set in the American South in the 1960s when Black people were fighting for the right to register to vote without interference. Lewis was badly beaten by police during a peaceful protest on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the titular Alabama city in 1965. The incident was known as Bloody Sunday.

Lewis died Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

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