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By People.com / Ale Russian, Anya Leon
Updated Dec 23, 2017 @ 3:36 pm

Matt Damon’s dad Kent has died at the age of 74, his rep confirms to PEOPLE.

Damon’s rep told the Boston Globe that Kent died on Dec. 14. He had been battling cancer for several years, revealing publicly in 2011 that he was in remission from the rare blood disease multiple myeloma.

“It’s been a slow unfolding, my dad’s sick, so that’s been a process we’re going through,” the actor told Extra earlier this month. “We’ll take any prayers you got.”

Matt, 47, had canceled several appearances recently to be at his dad’s side while promoting his new movie Downsizing. In October, he skipped the 2017 Britannia Awards in England, where he was honored with the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film, to return home to Boston.

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In 2011, Matt and his father helped honor the doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Kent had received treatment, at a event in Boston.

“We’ve lost some close personal friends to cancer in recent years, but I never thought it would happen to my dad, the marathon runner,” Matt said at the event.

Kent praised his famous son for being a good husband and father to his four daughters.

“He’s all you could ever for ask for in a son. It’s been a wonderful ride being his dad,” Kent said at the event.

He also ribbed Matt for his success in Hollywood.

“We try not to take this celebrity deal too seriously,” said Kent, who recalled his shock at looking at the newspaper in 1997 and seeing his son’s Academy Award nomination for Good Will Hunting alongside Hollywood veterans. “There was a picture of Robert Duvall, Peter Fonda, and Dustin Hoffman – then there was a picture of my 27-year-old son. He didn’t belong there with all these seasoned actors!”