BLACK PANTHER’s Chadwick Boseman Dies of Cancer at 43
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
Chadwick Boseman, known for his roles in the popular Marvel movie franchise as Black Panther and Jackie Robinson in the movie 42, died of colon cancer on August 28 at age 43.
Boseman was first diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” his family said. “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it for 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,” the family continued. “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.”
According to Deadline:
He kept his battle with cancer quiet from the public. Boseman died at home in Los Angeles with his wife and family present, according to his publicist Friday night.
Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, SC, and later attended Howard University. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing. He then attended drama school in London before returning to the U.S.
He moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue acting. His first TV role came in 2003, an episode of “Third Watch.” He went on to appear in such series as “Law & Order”, “CSI: NY” and “ER”. In 2008, he played a recurring role on the series “Lincoln Heights”, and appeared in his first film, “The Express: The Ernie Davis Story”.
Boseman notably played the parts of baseball icon Jackie Robinson, the future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall and music superstar James Brown during his film career. However, it was his role as T’Challa, the king of Marvel’s mythical African land of Wakanda, that gave him international recognition…
Boseman’s first starring film role came with “42”, a biopic of baseball pioneer Robinson, the first Black player in Major League Baseball. He then appeared with Kevin Costner in NFL saga “Draft Day.” Shortly thereafter, he portrayed [James] Brown in “Get On Up.” He also appeared in 2016’s “Gods of Egypt.”
Those personality-driven roles led to his biggest portrayal as T’Challa, the King of Wakanda and the legendary Black Panther. He first appeared in the role in “Captain America: Civil War,” the initial leg of a five-picture deal. The film was the launching pad for 2018’s enormously successful “Black Panther,” which was as much of a cultural touchstone as it was a superhero film. It became one of the highest-grossing films of the year in the U.S. after its February debut. It was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and won three Academy Awards.
Marvel Studios’ president and Chief Creative Officer for Marvel, Kevin Fiege, reflected on the tragic passing of Boseman as “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,” Feige said.
“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,” Feige continued. “Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
Disney’s Bob Iger also made a statement after Boseman’s passing.
“We are all heartbroken by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman — an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met,” Igor said. “He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking 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. For his friends and millions of fans, his absence from the screen is only eclipsed by his absence from our lives. All of us at Disney send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family,” Iger added.
The Marvel universe and fellow Avengers mourned Boseman’s loss.
“Absolutely heartbreaking,” Chris Hemsworth wrote on Instagram. “One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met.”
Chris Evans also posted on Instagram.
“I’m absolutely devastated,” he wrote. “Chadwick was special. A true original.”
Mark Ruffalo added, “What a man, and what an immense talent.”
“Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself,” Brie Larson wrote.
Samuel L. Jackson called Boseman “a talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed.”
“THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us,” he wrote on Twitter. “We needed it & will always cherish it!”
“I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me…” Don Cheadle said.
According to Christian Post Reporter Christine Thomasos, in her article “’Black Panther’ Star Chadwick Boseman’s Pastor Reveals Actor’s Church Roots,” Boseman grew up attending Welfare Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina, even singing in the church’s choir. His childhood pastor, Samuel Neely, who retired from Welfare Baptist Church, told Fox Carolina that “Boseman still holds on to his faith, and he is proud of the man that the action star has become.”
Boseman sang about Jesus in his recent Spike Lee movie, DA 5 BLOODS, but it didn’t make it into the movie. Lee posted the video to his Instagram.
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Please lift up the Boseman family in your prayers.