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St. Petersburg filmmaker inspired by uncle Bob Marley becomes health advocate

Bob Marley's nephew, Charles Mattocks, is a health advocate who produces documentaries on healthy living, and he has a new series coming up.

St. Petersburg is the place to be if you are looking for a healthy lifestyle advocate. Charles Mattocks, the nephew of the legendary Bob Marley, is a 48-year-old resident of St. Petersburg. He believes that if Bob Marley were alive today, at the age of 78, he probably would no longer be smoking marijuana, even though it was a spiritual component of his Rastafarian religion. Mattocks is a health advocate and producer of documentary films and docuseries on healthy living. He has appeared on "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America," and his streaming docuseries "Reversed" delves into the keto and carnivore diets. His mother, Constance Marley, is the musician's 82-year-old sister living in Ocala. They were not raised together, but are connected by their father Norval Marley who, according to the 2012 documentary "Marley," had little to do with parenting either. Mattocks, born and raised in New York, was 5 or 6 years old when he first met Marley, by then a global superstar fighting for political change in Jamaica while also battling the cancer with which he was diagnosed in 1977. He was not with his mother during her last hospital visit with Marley, but she shared the experience. In 1981, Marley died at age 36. At 20, Mattocks was poised for musical fame of his own. Under the guidance of musician and actor LL Cool J, he released a rap album under the name "Eddie Bone" through Tommy Boy Entertainment. Hollywood came calling next, his big break coming after he was cast alongside James Woods in the title role in "The Summer of Ben Tyler," about a Black man with Down syndrome taken in by an affluent white couple in the racist South of the 1940s. But Mattocks, a father of four, left Hollywood for Tampa Bay about 15 years ago to raise his family in what he calls a more stable place. He was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to his unhealthy lifestyle. So he began exercising more and learned to cook healthy meals. He wrote "The Budget-Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook" about how to affordably manage the disease and began making television appearances, first locally and then nationally, for programs like "Dr. Oz" and "The Martha Stewart Show." He put music and acting behind him as he became a fulltime health advocate. "We are all here for a short period of time," Mattocks said. "But we don't have to come and go. I think in what Bob did, he probably knew that. Like him, I want to leave something behind that changes other people's lives for many years."

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