Hollywood is in mourning today after the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday after a private four year battle with colon cancer. He was 43 years-old.
BBC News reported that Boseman died at his home in Los Angeles, California with his wife and family by his side. Fans are still in shock over his passing, as his cancer battle had not been made public prior to his death.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” Boseman’s family said in the statement. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more – all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
Boseman first came to fame playing real-life figures like baseball great Jackie Robinson in 2013’s 42, and soul singer James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up. However, it is for his role as King T’Challa in the 2018 movie Black Panther for which he will undoubtedly be best remembered. In that movie, he portrayed the ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology on earth.
Black Panther took in more than $1.3 billion US dollars (£973m) at cinemas worldwide, and earned Boseman widespread critical praise. Last year, Boseman said that the movie, which was seen as a cultural milestone given its black director and mostly black cast, changed what it means to be “young, gifted and black.”
Boseman would go on to play the same role in the Marvel films Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. A sequel to Black Panther was in the works and was scheduled to come out in 2022, with Boseman reprising his role.
Born in South Carolina to a nurse and an upholstery entrepreneur, Boseman later graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C. He returned to his alma mater in 2018 to speak at a graduation ceremony there.
“Some of you here struggled against the university itself,” he said to a mostly-minority audience. “Many of you will leave Howard and enter systems and institutions that have a history of discrimination and marginalisation. The fact that you have struggled with this university which you love is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world that you are entering.”
Tributes to Boseman have been pouring in since his death was announced.
Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years. https://t.co/KazXV1e7l7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 29, 2020
Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/C5xGkUi9oZ
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 29, 2020
All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
— Academy Music Business (@BenjaminEnfield) August 29, 2020
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) August 29, 2020
Rest in peace, Chadwick Boseman.