Ben Watkins Dies: ‘MasterChef Junior’ Contestant Was 14

Ben Watkins on MasterChef Junior. (Credit: Fox)

MasterChef Junior contestant Ben Watkins has died following an 18-month battle with a rare form of cancer. He was 14.

Watkins passed away Monday from angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma — a soft tissue tumor, his family told the Chicago Tribune.

“Ben’s life was grandiose in a way. Every corner that he turned had transformed into a statement. It’s comforting to know he doesn’t have to experience such pain and suffering anymore,” the teenager’s legal guardian and uncle Anthony Edwards said in an interview with the Tribune.

“Despite all the pain and sickness Ben went through, he never complained, not once,” added Edwards, who took over as legal guardian after Watkins’ parents died in a murder-suicide in 2017.

Watkins was a contestant on Fox series MasterChef Junior at the age of 11 and was a fan favorite.

He was diagnosed with the extremely rare form of cancer just a few days before his 13th birthday. He was treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

His fellow contestants and MasterChef host, chef Gordon Ramsay, sent a video to the teen with get-well wishes when the news of his diagnosis was made public.

Ramsay tweeted his condolences to Ben’s family after hearing the shocking news on Tuesday: “We lost a Master of the @MasterChefJrFOX kitchen today. Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss.”

Ben’s relatives described him as a “superhero” and said he remained upbeat, even after his parents died. “I’m one of the lucky ones because I’ve got a grandma and an uncle who love me,” Ben told Edwards.