Disneyland Unveils Artist’s Stunning Chadwick Boseman Mural

Chadwick Mural Disneyland
(Instagram/nikkolas_smith)

It’s only been a few weeks since Chadwick Boseman tragically, and unexpectedly, for the general public, succumbed to colon cancer and passed away after a four-year fight with the disease.

In the days and weeks since his passing, the tributes have hardly stopped. His friends and coworkers eulogized him with touching remembrances of his kindness, dignity, and work ethic, while fans praised him for being a role model to their children, especially to the young black children who’d finally had a superhero of their own to look up to.

Now, many of these children will have a chance to pay tribute again, should they visit Disneyland in the coming years.

The park just unveiled a stunning mural of the star in the Downtown Disney shopping district portion of the park. The mural depicts Boseman kneeling and making the Wakanda salute to a young child in a hospital gown and Black Panther mask.

“This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney,” the mural’s designer, Nikkolas Smith wrote in the caption to his Instagram post of the mural. “It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the children’s hospital project and the Avengers Campus.”

The mural is titled “King Chad” and pays tribute to the star’s work with children, specifically his visits to young cancer patients on St. Jude’s campus, even while secretly suffering from the disease himself.

“To millions of kids, T’Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman,” Smith continued. “I’m so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist.”

Boseman has left a huge legacy in his short career, and his memory will live on via the films he appeared in and the many people he inspired and touched along the way. Now, at Disneyland, thousands will get reminded of that every day when they walk past Smith’s stunning mural that captures the kindness of the star that extended past his performance and into his daily life.

Kobe’s Close Friend and Former Teammate Names His Daughter After Gigi Bryant

Ellie Gianna Gasol
(Twitter/PauGasol Instagram/KobeBryant)

Kobe Bryant’s close friend and former teammate Pau Gasol has officially joined the dad club. And, in a touching gesture, he named his daughter after Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gigi, who also died in the tragic helicopter crash earlier this year.

The former Laker shared the news on Instagram about the birth of his daughter. It’s only fitting that Gasol is a #GirlDad, a role that his friend loved dearly. Gasol has stayed close with the entire Bryant family, and recently shared a touching photo of their families together.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

My wife, my future baby, my sister and my nieces. So much beauty in one picture #Family ❤️

A post shared by Pau (@paugasol) on

Gasol reinforced that bond between the families as he honored the memory of Kobe’s daughter Gianna and named his own daughter after her.

“Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn’t be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol, 😍, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!! ❤️👨‍👩‍👧 #girldad” Gasol wrote.

Kobe’s wife Vanessa also celebrated the birth on Instagram, writing “My goddaughter is here!!!” Gasol also commented on her post, writing “We love you sis! You’re going to be the best godmother to our Ellie Gianna.”

It’s tough to imagine how devastating this year has been for all of them, but it’s nice for them to have some new happiness to celebrate and it’s always great to welcome someone new to The Dad club.

Meadow Walker Shares Sweet Tribute on Late Dad’s Birthday

Meadow Paul Walker
(Instagram/meadowwalker)

Paul Walker’s daughter posted a sweet tribute to the late “Fast And The Furious” star on his birthday, sharing a cute throwback photo of the two from a simpler time. Meadow Walker had grown very close to her dad in the year leading up to his tragic death, and she was only 15 when he had his accident in 2013.

Now 21 and a successful model, Meadow posted the photo of the two of them from years ago with a simple caption to commemorate her dad’s birthday: “The moment I realized we are twins. Happy birthday to the most beautiful soul.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

the moment I realized we are twins. happy birthday to the most beautiful soul.

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

Fast and Furious co-star Jordana Brewster echoed Meadow’s words, commenting: “the most beautiful.” Family forever isn’t just a line from the movies, at the cast seems to be pretty tight even away from the scenes. As evidence of that, Meadow and Vin Diesel’s kids are still close.  Meadow has been steadfast in keeping her dad’s legacy alive, even founding the Paul Walker Foundation several years ago.

Meadow also regularly shares old photos and videos of the two of them, helping to keep alive her dad’s memory. Some of them, never seen publicly before, are the exact type of heartwarming father-daughter relationship any dad would love to have.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

happy place

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

And Meadow was far from the only one to post a tribute to Walker. Diesel posted a photo with the two of them, captioned “Always.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Always…

A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on

And others in the Fast cast gave a nod to the beloved star who was taken from us far too soon.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Simply put….. We miss you everyday!!!!!! Happy birthday KING WALKER

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I miss you.

A post shared by jordanabrewster (@jordanabrewster) on

Tributes Pour in for Diana Rigg, Queen of Thorns and Mrs. Bond

RIP Dianna Rigg
(Getty/Joel Saget/AFP)

Iconic actress Diana Rigg, known most recently for her Emmy-nominated performance on Game of Thrones, passed away Thursday at the age of 82. Rigg had a long history of playing badass characters, as she rose to fame playing secret agent Emma Peel in the 1960s spy show “The Avengers.” Rigg was also a Bond girl, and the only one Bond married – she played Mrs. Bond in the 1969 thriller “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” According to her agent, she died at home surrounded by family after succumbing to cancer that was diagnosed in March.

Despite how you feel about the ending, Game of Thrones was (for much of the run, anyway) an incredible show. And Rigg’s Olenna Tyrell may have been her finest performance, as she nailed her role as a sharp-tongued matriarch. The tributes to the Queen of Thorns poured in on social media.

Rigg was a delight in Thrones, but she also shined in her other TV work and many think she had one of the best performances of any Bond co-star in the franchise history.

She also stole the show in the Great Muppet Caper, star of the movie Kermit the Frog (just go with it) said on Twitter.

If you’re unfamiliar with her role, here’s a quick look at some of her most iconic screen roles. A tribute to a bonafide badass, who left her mark on every project she was involved with.

Ziggy Marley Honored His Dad’s 75th Birthday With Facebook Live Performance

Ziggy Marley Facebook Live
(YouTube/Ziggy Marley)

Losing a parent is never easy, but there’s something especially bittersweet when the entire world is there to mourn with you. An absolute legend left us way too soon in 1981, and nearly 40 years after his death, Bob Marley is still a household name. At the age of just 36 years old, Marley died from a melanoma that spread to his brain and lungs. Over the last four decades, Bob Marley’s music has endured not only because of his incredible talent but because his music became a symbol of hope and peace.

Bob Marley’s messages are still relevant today, perhaps now more than ever – lyrics like “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; Wisdom is better than silver and gold” remind us that the most important things in life aren’t tangible. Marley encouraged us to “wake up and live,” and to “Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights,” which so many are still fighting for today. Bob Marley’s music lives on – in part because of his eternally-relevant messages of unity and love, in part because of how deeply he inspired future generations of musicians, and in part because of his children.

On July 16th, Bob Marley’s son Ziggy took to Facebook Live to commemorate his dad during what would have been the year of his 75th birthday. Ziggy Marley streamed directly from his dad’s Facebook page, performing a tribute set of his father’s songs. “Get Up, Stand Up,” “One Love,” and “Redemption Song” were among the many Ziggy performed in his uplifting hour-long live stream. Now 51, Ziggy is 15 years older than his father was when he passed away – but he isn’t letting the reggae legend’s memory fade.

Before the video was removed from Facebook, it dominated Billboard’s chart of the Top Facebook Live Videos for July 2020. According to Shareablee, the live concert accumulated over 99,000 reactions and 9.4 million views in the first week, proving just how much Ziggy Marley’s performance resonated with fans around the world.

On July 27th, Ziggy posted the tribute concert to his YouTube page, and the video already has over 200,000 views. The beauty of Ziggy carrying on his father’s legacy matches the beauty of the music itself. As Bob Marley so wisely said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Steve Irwin’s Family Shares Touching Tributes On Anniversary of His Death

Steve Irwin Tributes
(Instagram/bindisueirwin)

14 years ago, we lost one of the most original TV personalities and animal activists when the legendary Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin passed. On the anniversary of his 2006 death from a stingray attack, his daughter Bindi, son Robert, and wife Terri all posted moving tributes to the wildlife and conservationist icon.

Bindi Irwin, who has been in the news recently as she’s expecting her first child of her own, posted a sweet photo on Instagram of her with her dad.  Bindi, who was just 8 when her dad died tragically, simply captioned the photo “You’re always in my heart.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You’re always in my heart.

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

While Bindi has helped continue Steve’s work, Irwin’s son Robert has done even more. In fact, he even bears a striking resemblance to young pics of Steve, even one with the exact same croc. He posted a tribute to his dad by posting a pic of him with a croc from the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. He wrote that he’s continuing the work of his dad and gave an update on the yearly crocodile research trip, something his dad started 17 years ago. He continues his dad’s conservation work, writing “Today we get to keep this vital work going, using state of the art solar tracking technology to learn even more about these amazing animals make sure Dad’s mission and passion for croc conservation continues!”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Today marks the end of our annual crocodile research trip to the #SteveIrwinWildlifeReserve. Over the last month we caught 39 crocodiles, from ‘Ryan’ who tied for being the largest croc in the system at over 15 feet long to little ‘Pingu’ at just under 3 feet. This year brought the total crocs tagged to 213 in the study. This research was all started by Dad and to this day we still use the same methods of capture that he created. Our crocodile research began 17 years ago when Australia Zoo joined forces with the University of Queensland to conduct world leading science and lead the charge in crocodile conservation. And today we get to keep this vital work going, using state of the art solar tracking technology to learn even more about these amazing animals make sure Dad’s mission and passion for croc conservation continues! 🐊

A post shared by Robert Irwin (@robertirwinphotography) on

Steve’s wife Terri posted a touching photo of her and Steve, adorned with an iguana on their heads. Her caption is a brief but heartening reflection on how to process the loss of a loved one, a loss that is felt every day. She wrote: “I feel that I have a choice: celebrate love or struggle with grief. I choose love.”

That’s a great approach and outlook on loss. Celebrate love, by keeping alive the memory of people who made your world a brighter place. It’s a testament to Irwin’s legacy that his work echoes through his loved ones, and his passion continues to make a difference in the animal world to this day.

Michael B. Jordan’s Tribute Crowns Chadwick Boseman as Our King

Michael B Jordan's Chadwick Tribute
(Instagram/michaelbjordan)

In the days since Chadwick Boseman tragically, unexpectedly passed away after a hidden four-year battle with colon cancer, tributes have been pouring in. Fans took to social media to express surprise and dismay at the sudden loss, fellow members of the Marvel fraternity of onscreen superheroes shared poignant remembrances of their costar and friend, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler released a heartfelt statement about the kindness and work ethic of his star. Children around the world have also been holding Black Panther memorial ceremonies.

Boseman seemed to touch the lives of everyone he met, and of millions of people he didn’t, thanks to the dignity and strength he brought onscreen and off.

There was one person the world had yet to hear from, and that was Michael B. Jordan, Boseman’s co-star in Black Panther. Jordan played Killmonger, the angry foil to King T’Challa’s hero, and a large part of the reason the movie was so successful. Jordan needed a few days to process his grief before releasing a statement, and when he did, he shared a series of photos on Instagram and bemoaned the fact that he wouldn’t get any more time with his friend.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time. One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked , and now the truth of that means more to me than ever. Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness. I wish we had more time. Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here. I wish we had more time. I’m more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. “Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother.

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on

In a long caption repeatedly punctuated with the phrase “I wish we had more time,” Jordan praises Boseman for paving the way for him, as a young black actor who started on a soap opera, like Boseman, and admired the way the actor continued to prioritize what truly mattered, even as mega-stardom descended upon him.

“Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity.”

Jordan is a decade younger than Boseman, and it’s clear he looked up to him.

“You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here. I wish we had more time.”

Like all of the tributes to Boseman over the past few days, Jordan’s is both touching and tragic, and together these stories add to Boseman’s legacy as both a gifted actor and a wonderful person.

“Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother.”

Kids Around the World Are Holding ‘Black Panther’ Memorials for Chadwick Boseman

Action Figure Black Panther Memorial
(Facebook/Kristin News)

One incredible thing about watching kids grow up is that we get to see them experience everything in life for the first time. We watch them discover their favorite foods, try out hobbies that grow into life-long passions, and meet friends that eventually become welcome additions to your family. On the flip side, we also watch our kids learn to deal with life’s most difficult challenges. Many kids around the world recently learned that even their biggest heroes aren’t invincible, and people are taking to Twitter to share moving photos of kids celebrating the life and legacy of their favorite superhero.

Last Friday, at just 43 years old, Chadwick Boseman of Black Panther fame died from a 4-year-long battle with colon cancer. Boseman was far more than just an on-screen hero – he gave Black youth everywhere a superhero they could identify with, and he continued working to make the world a better place even when he was quietly fighting for his life. The big-hearted actor even communicated with two young fans who had terminal cancer while filming Black Panther, sending the boys messages of love and support.

After the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, kids are trying to figure out how to both celebrate and grieve for their beloved hero. An incredible thing about kids is that they aren’t yet influenced (at least not nearly as much as we are) by social norms, meaning that they’re going to do whatever feels right to them in the moment. Since Boseman’s death, people have been sharing touching photos of kids mourning in the best ways they know how. The staggeringly poignant pictures remind us just how important it is to allow our kids and ourselves to experience the full range of human emotion – and perhaps more importantly, they remind us that no matter what we’re feeling, we’re not alone.

One woman named Kristin News captured this heartbreaking photo of her son Michael’s Black Panther memorial. “This was definitely a tough loss for many. Including young kids,” Kristin told The Dad. Upon asking Michael why he cared so deeply about his hero he replied, “I looked up to Black Panther because he made kids believe they can be their own superhero, and they can be anything they want to be. He was a good guy and strong superhero.”

Kids Mourn Black Panther
(Facebook/Kristin News)

This young boy holds the Wakanda Salute next to the powerful Black Panther memorial his mom helped him build.

Mark Ruffalo shared two heartbreaking pictures of boys giving their hero a Marvel farewell. A T’Challa figurine lays on the ground, while the boys’ other Marvel action figures surround their fallen friend. “This is his power and impact on the next generation,” Ruffalo writes.

One Twitter user shared a photo of her nephew’s Black Panther funeral, his action figures solemnly arranged around a photo of his hero.

This family had a Black Panther viewing to honor their favorite superhero.

“The whole force came out for this one.”

This boy closes his eyes as he holds the ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute, while his action figures raise a fist for the fallen hero.

Thank you for everything, Chadwick. Wakanda Forever.

Marvel and Black Panther Director Share Stirring Tributes to Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther Tributes
(Twitter/theblackpanther)

Since news of Chadwick Boseman’s shocking death after a private four-year battle with colon cancer broke, the internet has been awash in tributes to the Black Panther star.

Fans took to social media to express dismay at the passing of the man who brought T’Challa to screens and inspired millions of people, young kids and adults alike, who finally got to see a black superhero on screen. Boseman brought dignity and nobility to his role as Black Panther, and to his previous roles as some of America’s most prominent and accomplished African-Americans like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall.

Over the weekend, Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther, shared a heartfelt tribute to the star, detailing his experiences in meeting and working alongside Boseman, who brought kindness and dedication to the set every day.

He was a special person. We would often speak about heritage and what it means to be African. When preparing for the film, he would ponder every decision, every choice, not just for how it would reflect on himself, but how those choices could reverberate. “They not ready for this, what we are doing…” “This is Star Wars, this is Lord of the Rings, but for us… and bigger!” He would say this to me while we were struggling to finish a dramatic scene, stretching into double overtime. Or while he was covered in body paint, doing his own stunts. Or crashing into frigid water, and foam landing pads. I would nod and smile, but I didn’t believe him. I had no idea if the film would work. I wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing. But I look back and realize that Chad knew something we all didn’t. He was playing the long game. All while putting in the work. And work he did.

Coogler expressed his sadness at not being able to direct Boseman in the Black Panther sequel, slated for 2022.

I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.

(Read the director’s full statement on CNN.)

Last night, ABC aired Black Panther commercial-free, followed by a special tribute special to Boseman, detailing his life and career. Beforehand, ABC shared a video tribute from Marvel Studios, highlighting Boseman’s work within the MCU.

Check it out:

Dad Shares Video Chadwick Boseman Sent His Son While He Battled Cancer

Chadwick Boseman's Message to Boy
(Twitter/_Bro_Hamm_)

On Friday, the world lost one of the good ones. At just 43 years old, on-screen and real-life hero Chadwick Boseman passed away after a 4-year-long battle with colon cancer. The news came as a devastating shock, with Boseman somehow managing to keep his illness a secret – even more incredible, Boseman continued to work and give back to his fans while simultaneously fighting a battle more terrifying and strenuous than anything found in a Marvel movie.

In a recently-resurfaced video from the 2018 press tour of Black Panther, an emotional Boseman discussed his communication with two young fans battling terminal cancer. According to the boys’ parents, they wanted so badly to see the movie that would show them that anything was possible, that heroes really did exist. Fighting a battle that no person – let alone a child – should experience, the boys were just “trying to hold on till this movie comes.”

Tragically, the two boys never did get to see their hero on the big screen. Watching the interview now, seeing Boseman’s immense pain and grief over two children he never met is gut-wrenching – even more so after realizing that the actor likely felt a kinship with his young fans, knowing they were all fighting the same fight.

After the resurgence of Boseman’s 2018 interview, an unexpected voice joined the chorus of those mourning the talented young actor. Brian Hammond, the father of one of the boys Boseman mentioned in the interview, took to Twitter to share just how much the Black Panther star meant to his son, Taylor.

“Chadwick was talking about my son when he broke down and cried,” Brian wrote. “He was heartbroken that Taylor didn’t get to see the finished product. When all of the world’s eyes were on him, his heart & mind was on our angel.”

Now, years after the loss of his son, Brian shared a video that had meant the world to Taylor – a video that allowed him to forget about illness and fear, and for a minute, be nothing more than an ecstatic kid with a personalized message from his hero.

The never-before-seen clip shows Chadwick Boseman talking directly to Taylor, giving him a message of support. “Just wanted to give you some love, and some positive energy,” the Black Panther star says. “A dear friend of mine was telling me how courageous, and how strong you are.”

The clip then cuts to Taylor, beside himself with excitement. “Thank you T’Challa, AKA Black Panther,” Taylor squeals, adorably echoing Boseman’s own introduction. “I’m so excited that you said ‘lots of love to my family’ – thank you so much!”

Though the entire exchange is under a minute long, it tells a deep and heartbreaking story. A man living out multiple dreams at once – the dream of becoming a successful actor, and the dream of embodying a hero that Black youth could identify with. At the same time, we see a man who is fighting for his life, giving a message of hope and courage to a little boy doing the same.

The positivity that Boseman brought into the world extended far beyond one little boy who needed a hero – Taylor’s palpable joy is something that Black youth will feel for decades to come. Any time they watch Black Panther, when they see a superhero they can relate to, they’ll remember that they too can do and be anything. And that empowerment, the pride in who they are, that is Chadwick Boseman’s legacy. And it’s not going anywhere.

Denzel Washington Secretly Paid for Chadwick Boseman’s Acting Classes

Denzel Washington Paid for Chadwick Boseman's Acting Course
(Youtube/American Film Institute)

Throughout our lives, countless people come and go – some barely make an impression, while others completely change our trajectory. Chadwick Boseman was a young college student studying directing at Howard University when one man quietly slipped in and out of his life, unknowingly influencing everything that would come after. Though Boseman was pursuing directing, Howard’s program required him to take acting classes at some point during his college career.

Boseman’s teacher and Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad recognized his talent and suggested he take an acting course over the summer at Oxford. This was an exciting but unattainable prospect for Chadwick Boseman, as he couldn’t afford to enroll in Oxford’s program. Confident in Boseman’s abilities and undeterred by the roadblock, Rashad reached out to a friend for help. In a pivotal moment that would change Boseman’s entire life, Rashad’s generous friend agreed to cover the cost of tuition.

In a 2018 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Chadwick Boseman recalled the mind-blowing moment he realized just who funded his acting program at Oxford. Boseman told Fallon, “I’ve basically been holding this secret my whole career. When I came back, I got a beneficiary letter and it said Denzel Washington paid for you.” In the video, we hear the audience audibly gasp as soon as Boseman drops the surprising news to which he responds, laughing, “that’s what I did!”

“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said at the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award, in a tribute to the influential actor.

It wasn’t until 2018 that Chadwick Boseman finally got to meet the quietly generous man who changed his life. At the New York Black Panther premiere, Denzel Washington and Chadwick Boseman had the most endearing exchange imaginable – after telling Washington about the fateful acting course he so generously covered, Washington teased, “Oh, so that’s why I’m here – you owe me money! I came to collect!”

The two talented actors’ connection ran deep, even before Washington was aware of it. In Boseman’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Washington was a producer. In a storybook conclusion to the pair’s long history, the wide-eyed college student turned award-winning actor stood next to Washington – not as a fan, but as a peer. Now, two years after their first in-person meeting and many more years after the day Denzel Washington changed the course of Chadwick Boseman’s life, Washington mourned the young star’s death.

“He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career,” Washington said in a statement following Boseman’s death on Friday. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”

Chadwick Boseman Talks About Kids Who Had Terminal Cancer In Heartbreaking Clip

Chadwick Boseman Letters to Kids With Terminal Cancer
(YouTube/SiriusXM)

It feels rare in Hollywood these days, finding a star that embodies everything we look for in a role model. Someone who lives their life working hard both professionally and personally, determined to leave the world better than they found it. Even before we learned of his tragic 4-year-long fight with colon cancer, Chadwick Boseman was just about as close as a person could get to a real-world superhero. To say that Boseman worked hard to accomplish his dreams would be a drastic understatement – the talented young actor appeared in over 15 movies, but it was the characters he played that rightfully made him a hero, especially to Black youth.

Throughout his entirely too-short career, Chadwick Boseman portrayed Black American trailblazers such as James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and Jackie Robinson. Boseman breathed new life into Black leaders throughout history, but he was best known for his starring role in Black Panther. The on-screen bravery of his character T’Challa gave Black children a superhero they could identify with, while his off-screen kindness and humility were perhaps just as inspiring.

It brings an entirely new dimension to the final years of Boseman’s life, knowing he was fighting a private battle that took every ounce of strength he had. Not only did he continue working, but Boseman was generous with his limited free time – especially when it came to kids who saw him as a hero.

In a recently-resurfaced video from the 2018 press tour of Black Panther, an emotional Boseman discussed both the cultural significance of the film and the letters he exchanged with two young boys fighting terminal cancer – a fact that now makes our minds race and our hearts break.

In the SiriusXM Town Hall, Boseman revealed that the two boys he’d been communicating with throughout the filming of Black Panther had passed away. Shakily, Boseman explains that according to the boys’ parents, the two had been “trying to hold on till this movie comes.”

Boseman goes on to explain how everything he does throughout the day – going to the gym, practicing his lines – it all gained a new sort of significance after learning how much the movie meant to these kids. “They anticipated something great,” Boseman recalled. Thinking back to his own childhood, the actor remembered how he too had lived his life waiting for one great moment after the next.

At the end of the video, Boseman begins to say “when I found out that they had…” but stops, becoming too emotional to finish the sentence – the pain of the boys’ deaths too much to revisit. After taking several seconds to compose himself, a tearful Boseman concludes with, “it means a lot.”

Watching the video in 2018 meant watching an actor you admire show enormous empathy and compassion towards two boys he’d never met. Watching the video now means seeing a man fighting for his own life show a staggering amount of love and support to two little boys doing the same. This heartbreaking interview showed Chadwick Boseman stepping up as the hero these two sick boys desperately needed – and at times, it felt as if Boseman was embodying the very hero we all need during life’s most trying times. The hero who understands, and the hero who – with every fiber of his being – genuinely cares.

Tributes Pour in for Chadwick Boseman, Star of Black Panther

Tributes for Chadwick Boseman
(Twitter/chadwickboseman)

His career was only beginning.

Chadwick Boseman, a rising star who portrayed Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Black Panther, has died at 43, of colon cancer. Apparently the actor, most famous for his role as T’Challa in the Oscar-nominated Marvel movie, had been battling colon cancer for four years.

He didn’t let it slow him down, filling several movies while he was sick and in between treatments, including this summer’s Spike Lee movie Da Five Bloods.

His family posted a photo and a brief statement on his Twitter page, revealing the long battle Boseman had secretly been fighting as his star was rising.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.⁣

Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.

A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. 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. ⁣

He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. ⁣

The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

The news came as a shock to the general public, who were expecting the star to appear in Black Panther 2 and play a large role in the MCU for the foreseeable future. Instead, the respected actor, who toggled between serious films and the MCU, is the subject of countless tributes on social media as fans reel from the news of his unexpected death.

The Avengers and other actors were blindsided:

And Athletes:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Rest In Paradise King 👑! #TheHellWith2020 #FCancer

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Boseman had an eye for biopics, breaking out as Jackie Robinson, then playing James Brown and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall before he became the center of the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture.

As Black Panther became a cultural phenomenon, he was always quick to flash his huge grin and do the Wakanda salute, fully embracing his role in the MCU. Young fans of T’Challa are sure to be devastated, especially young black fans who were finally seeing a superhero version of themselves on movie screens.

This is quite a loss. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Now is an even better time to use the Wakanda Salute.