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.”
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
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:
I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking.
Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King💙 pic.twitter.com/oBERXlw66Z
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 29, 2020
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“Press on with pride. Press on with purpose” – Chadwick Boseman This was hard to hear about. Hard to imagine the quiet pain and struggle you went thru all these years, yet still shined your powerful light and talents to inspire the world. Especially, our kids who finally saw themselves as a superhero — because of you. Rest in power, brother. My love and strength to your family. You will always press on with pride and purpose.
THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us. We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed🙏🏿 RIP
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) August 29, 2020
Such a brutal loss. RIP, Chadwick.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 29, 2020
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I met you at the premier of 42 in Pittsburgh in 2013. Even though you were in the spotlight and all eyes were on you, I remember you saying, “I’m that one that’s starstruck by all of these athletes here.” That’s the man you were. Humble. You will be missed. RIP Chadwick Boseman pic.twitter.com/ypJc1yUq9p
— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) August 29, 2020
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.