Actors who played Nelson Mandela react to news of his death

Along with the many others around the world, celebrities mourned the loss of Nelson Mandela as word spread of his death on Thursday.

The former South African president, Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid leader died at the age of 95. Various actors who worked on films about the leader expressed their emotions upon hearing about his death.

“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century,” Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Mandela in the 2009 film "Invictus," said in a statement sent to FOX411. “Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve---a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we've come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.”

Dennis Haysbert also chimed in with a reaction.

“Portraying Nelson Mandela, in the film ‘Goodbye Bafana’ was a defining moment in my life and my career,” he said. “We as a society, have been blessed to live in a time that Nelson Mandela has lived, loved, and led. What he has done for his country, his countrymen, and everyone on this planet may not be achieved again… ever.”

Idris Elba, who stars in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” responded to the news too. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” hit theaters on Nov. 29, 2013, less than a week before Mandela died.

“What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world,” Elba stated. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” was one of the Weinstein companies big fall releases. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein expressed his sadness.

“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.”