(CNN) -- Hollywood has long stood with Nelson Mandela in his fight against apartheid and his support of human rights. After the announcement of his death on Thursday, stars shared their condolences.
Harvey Weinstein, whose company is releasing the biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" in the United States this month, hailed Mandela in a statement.
"One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity," he said. "We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela's story and legacy. It's been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history's greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation."
The film premiered in London as news of his death spread on Thursday night.
Actor Denzel Washington said he was "honored and humbled to call Nelson Mandela a friend of our entire family.
He will continue to live through all of us as a symbol of hope, faith and strength."
Actor Forest Whitaker expressed deep sadness "by the loss of one of the world's greatest souls."
"Nelson Mandela was a man who unified the world with his convictions and grace," Whitaker said. "He cultivated human dignity while moving a nation from the shackles of apartheid to reconciliation. He defended tirelessly and with passion human rights and, through love, nurtured humanity's hopes and dreams. Madiba was an elevated being who taught us that from forgiveness can spring new life, a new country, and a new world. I walk on the strength of his ideals and I am inspired by his courage and convictions to always believe in the light that exists in all of us."
Other statements received by CNN include one from singer Dionne Warwick.
"Having known him for many years and privileged to serve as one of his Ambassadors, it is with great respect that I send my heartfelt condolence to his family and South Africa!! ..........He amazingly lived what I was taught as a child and that being, We Human Beings have truly been put on this earth to be of service to one another and through this comes the Joy, Peace, and Harmony we ALL desire..............Rest in Peace Madiba"
Singer Alicia Keys said: "I'm deeply saddened by the profound loss of Nelson Mandela. He was more than just a man, but a king of peace and a beacon of hope for anyone suffering or oppressed. His courageous life touched the hearts of millions. He was perhaps our generation's greatest example of how you can rise above oppression and use your struggles to unite the world in peace. All of us stand on the shoulders of his profound accomplishments in raising awareness against HIV/AIDS and issues around anti-apartheid, equality, freedom and human rights. As I performed at the Mandela Day concert in honor of his 91st birthday, I was in awe of a man whose soul was filled with an effortless and rare love that only comes once in a lifetime. He was a gentle man with a beautiful smile, and deep eyes that always saw the best in humanity. His legacy lives on in all of us who live for a better tomorrow."
Even more celebrities shared their thoughts in 140 characters of less on Twitter:
Yoko Ono @yokoono
Thank you Nelson Mandela for your highest standard of commitment to Peace in our World. We are so lucky to have been on this planet with you.
Missy Elliott @MissyElliott
#RIPNelsonMandela we can't thank u enough for all the wisdom u have given to the world! A true Leader and loved by so many #rip
Jermaine Dupri @jermainedupri
He will forever inspire #ripmandela mikekalombo
Katherine Heigl @KatieHeigl
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Nelson Mandela. An inspiration to all who value freedom, democracy and equality.
marlon wayans @MarlonWayans
RIP NELSON MANDELA... It will take a world of people to grab the baton that you ran with to continue your tradition... May we all grab hold
Charlize Theron @CharlizeAfrica
My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever
Samuel L. Jackson @SamuelLJackson
Never met a better person in my life than Nelson Mandela. My sympathy to his family & his country.
Whoopi Goldberg @WhoopiGoldberg
I want 2give the world a hug I was told Mandeba just passed. Nelson Mandela R.I.P. Time for a well earned sleep.Condolences to his family
Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake
One of our GREATEST leaders... Thank you for BEING the true meaning of compassion. May you be at peace now. #RIPNelsonMandela
Beyonce Knowles @Beyonce
Thank you for all you have sacrificed to improve the lives of other human beings. Rest in peace.God Bless
Gladys Knight @MsGladysKnight
Today we lost a hero -- a man that not only changed a country but affected the world. #RIPNelsonMandela
Lionel Richie @LionelRichie
Rest in peace, Mr. Mandela. Your legacy and strength will live on forever. - LR
Goldie Hawn @goldiehawn
A light has gone out in this world. RIP with the other Angels Dear Nelson.
Paris Hilton @ParisHilton
Just landed & heard the sad new about Nelson Mandela. He was a true Hero & the world is a better place because of him. May he rest in peace.
Channing Tatum @channingtatum
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela
Cindy Crawford @CindyCrawford
Rest in Peace #Nelsonmendela a true hero.
Rita Wilson @RitaWilson
Nelson Mandela, a man of strength, vision and love. He taught us by his example. May he rest in peace.
Carson Daly @CarsonDaly
"From prisoner to president" thank you and RIP Nelson Mandela
tori amos @therealtoriamos
RIP Nelson Mandela, A truly great and courageous man who will always to be an inspiration to the world, sleep well Madiba
Sarah Hyland @Sarah_Hyland
Instead of mourning a loss, let's celebrate a life that changed the world
Mike Epps @TheRealMikeEpps
To live to be 95 years old after all the pain mentally & physically he went through to make life easier for others=Hero #RIPNelsonMandela
ian somerhalder @iansomerhalder
Im in tears.The world has lost one of its greatest shepherds of peace.Thank you Mr.Mandela for the love you radiated.
Hill Harper @hillharper
#Madiba an inspiration, a man of character, wisdom, intelligence & purpose. Thank you for all you have done for others! #RIPNelsonMandela
Bethenny Frankel @Bethenny
A truly inspirational person who will never be forgotten. #RIPNelsonMandela
Dominic Monaghan @DomsWildThings
Never doubt that one person can make a difference in the world. #NelsonMandela
Elizabeth Berkley @ElizBerkley
Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela #bless
Gina Gershon @RealGinaGershon
"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid,but he who conquers that fear" RIP #NelsonMandela. One of the Greatest and Bravest.
Mike Tyson @MikeTyson
I'm hearing about Nelson Mandela's death while on African soil in Oran, Algeria. Sending prayers to Mandela's family.
William Shatner @WilliamShatner
I hope the great work started by Nelson Mandela continues to spread across the world. He will be remembered as an icon for equality.
LL Cool J @llcoolj
Nelson Mandela. What a difference one person can make. #RestEternally
Busta Rhymes @BustaRhymes
RIP 2 ONE OF OUR LAST TRULY GREAT KINGS AND GOD OF OUR UNIVERSE, THE LATE GREAT NELSON MANDELA!!! I WILL 4EVER LOVE U GREAT MAN & GREAT MIND
Randy Jackson @YO_RANDYJACKSON
Wow. RIP Nelson Mandela. "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb."
Russell Simmons @UncleRUSH
Nelson Mandela was an angel walking on this earth. You were one the greatest teachers this world has ever known. We love you and we miss you
Abigail Breslin @yoabbaabba
Speechless... R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.
Ricky Martin @ricky_martin
There is a party in heaven. Angels are celebrating. The one and only #NelsonMandela has arrived. RIP
Gabrielle Union @itsgabrielleu
Rest in eternal peace, love and light #NelsonMandela
Michael Moore @MMFlint
I was convinced Nelson Mandela would NEVER get out of prison. When he did, and became President, I decided right then anything was possible.
Olivia Wilde @oliviawilde
Oh Mandela, rest in peaceful freedom.
Alyssa Milano @Alyssa_Milano
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." ~Nelson Mandela
Albert Brooks @AlbertBrooks
R.I.P. Nelson Mandela. Humanity at its absolute best.
Kevin Hart @KevinHart4real
The definition of Strength is "Nelson Mandela" #RIP #GREATNESS #ICON
LeVar Burton @levarburton
A great Soul has left us!!!! Nelson Mandela... Rest in Peace!
Olivia Munn @oliviamunn
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." RIPNelsonMandela
Melissa Joan Hart @MelissaJoanHart
God Bless Nelson Mandela and his family! What a long and meaningful life! Rest in Eternal Peace! #rip
Sean Astin @SeanAstin
God Bless #NelsonMandela
Marlee Matlin @MarleeMatlin
So sad to read of the passing of the symbol of global resistance to racism. RIP Nelson Mandela
Kirk Franklin @kirkfranklin
And just like that...my trip to Johannesburg has now changed. MANDELA our Hero has passed....
Josh Groban @joshgroban
We have lost one of humanity's greatest treasures. RIP Madiba. I will never forget the lessons learned from him or his vision that lives on.
Melanie C @MelanieCmusic
I always feel strange acknowledging somebody's passing on twitter but I have to say I am honoured to have met the great Nelson Mandela #RIP
Stephen Fry @stephenfry
Oh no. Just heard. Madiba dead. One of the greatest ever to share the planet with us. #mandela
Eliza Dushku @elizadushku
Dearest Nelson Mandela. An inspiring life doesn't begin to describe, an icon, a hero, a saint to the fullest. #RIP marvelous, beautiful man.
Padma Lakshmi @PadmaLakshmi
So sad to hear of Nelson Mandela's passing. What a life well lived! RIP
David Copperfield @D_Copperfield
"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela, rest in peace.
Clark Gregg @clarkgregg
"...our presence automatically liberates others." Rest In Peace Nelson Mandela
Emile Hirsch @EmileHirsch
Huge sadness for the loss of Nelson Mandela, a sterling example of human greatness and achievement.
Tatyana Ali @TatyanaAli
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" #Mandela
Questlove Jenkins @questlove
Free Nelson Mandela! Nelson Mandela Is Free. #Respect
CNN's Shant Petrossian and Topher.Gauk-Roger contributed to this report