Variety

‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman dies of colon cancer

PTI Los Angeles | Updated on August 29, 2020

American actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role in the movie Black Panther, has died after a four-year-long secret battle with colon cancer. He was 43.

In a statement posted on his official Twitter handle, the actor’s family said he was diagnosed with the disease in 2016. He passed away at his residence with his wife and family by his side.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his 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 honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,” they added.

The family thanked his fans and well-wishers for their best wishes and requested for privacy in these “difficult times”.

Boseman was best known for playing superhero king T’Challa aka Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was last seen in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, which released on Netflix in June this year. He made a name for himself by playing historical figures like such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014) and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017). He was popular globally, owing to his starring role as T’Challa aka superhero Black Panther in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies such as Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Hollywood shocked

The news of his death sent shockwaves in the US and in the film industry with many celebrities, politician and people from different walks of life taking to social media to express their grief.

In a statement, Washington said, “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. God bless Chadwick Boseman.”

Popular TV host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey remembered Boseman as a “gifted soul“. “Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like,” she tweeted.

Veteran actor Samuel L Jackson wrote, “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.”

Evans, who featured with Boseman in all of his four MCU films, posted his photos with the late actor, saying that he is “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,” he tweeted.

Marvel Studios president Feige and Disney chairman Bob Iger also mourned the actor’s death.

“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages,” Feige said.

Iger remembered Boseman as an “extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls” he ever met.“He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his ground breaking role of Black Panther; shattering myths and stereotypes, becoming a long-awaited hero to millions around the world, and inspiring us all to dream bigger and demand more than the status quo. We mourn all that he was, as well as everything he was destined to become,” he added.

Filmmaker Jordan Peele called his death a “crushing blow“.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) tweeted, “An immeasurable loss. From ‘Black Panther’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods’, Chadwick Boseman brought strength and light to the screen, every time.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden mourned Boseman’s demise. “The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want - even super heroes,” he posted on Twitter.

Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris, who is the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, said she was heart-broken to hear about Boseman’s death. “Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference,” Harris tweeted.

Actors Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson, Dwayne Johnson, Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett and Sterling K Brown also paid their tributes to the actor. “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,” Ruffalo tweeted.

Larson said Boseman was known for his radiance and peaceful life. “Who stood for so much more than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure. I’m honoured to have the memories I have,” she said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Cheadle posted, “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. My god ... forever and ever...”

Brown, Boseman’s Black Panther co-star, wrote: “I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed.”

Hemsworth said Boseman was “one of the kindest” and “most genuine” people and his death was “absolutely heartbreaking“. Johnson tweeted, “Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family.”

Reynolds called the actor’s death a “brutal loss“.

Angela Bassett, who played Boseman’s mother in Black Panther, recalled that when she received an honorary degree from Howard University, and Boseman was the student assigned to escort her that day. “This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother,” she added.

Published on August 29, 2020

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