“Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman, Black America’s beloved superhero, has died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
A statement about his death was released on the iconic actor’s Twitter account.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and he battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” the post read. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you so 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.”
Boseman got his first television role in 2003, in an episode of Third Watch. That same year, he portrayed Reggie Montgomery in the daytime soap opera All My Children, but stated that he was fired after voicing concerns to producers about racist stereotypes in the script; the role was subsequently re-cast, with Boseman’s future Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan assuming the role. His early work included episodes of the series Law & Order, CSI:NY, and ER.
Boseman had his first starring role in the 2013 film 42, in which he portrayed baseball pioneer and star Jackie Robinson. His death came on the day Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, usually celebrated on April 15. Major League Baseball tweeted that "his transcendent performance in '42' willstand the test of timeand serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie's story to audiences for generations to come."
In 2014, Boseman appeared opposite Kevin Costner in Draft Day, in which he played an NFL draft prospect. Later that year, he starred as James Brown in Get on Up. In 2016, he starred as Thoth, a deity from Egyptian mythology, in Gods of Egypt.
Boseman then became a global icon.
In 2016, he started portraying the Marvel Comics character King T’Challa / Black Panther, with Captain America: Civil War being his first film in a five-picture deal with Marvel. He headlined Black Panther in 2018, which focused on his character and his home country of Wakanda in Africa. The film became one of the highest-grossing films of the year in the United States. He reprised the role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which were released in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Both films were the highest grossing of the year they were released, with Endgame going on to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Also in 2019, he starred in 21 Bridges, an American action thriller film directed by Brian Kirk. In 2019, it was announced that Boseman was cast in the Netflix war drama film Da 5 Bloods, directed by Spike Lee. The film was released on June 12, 2020.
Boseman’s death was a shock to all his fans. He did not speak publicly about his cancer diagnosis, and continued to work while receiving treatment.
RIP King T’Challa….Wakanda forever!