A statement was released on Boseman’s personal Twitter and Instagram pages stating he died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday with his wife and family by his side.
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.” Boseman seemingly suffered in silence as his diagnosis was never spoken about publicly. The statement continued, highlighting the many impressive roles Chadwick had played throughout his career and how he was able to do so while fighting cancer. “ 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’s team also stated the role of King T’Challa in Black Panther was “the honor of his career.”
Boseman rose to a new level of fame when he was announced as the star of the “Black Panther” franchise. “Black Panther” is the only Marvel film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination and the first major superhero movie to feature an African protagonist along with a majority Black cast. This film embodied hope for many as it was finally a way for Black Americans to feel represented in mass media. The cultural footprint of “Black Panther” is one that will continue to last for generations.
Many of Chadwick’s costars from the Marvel franchise have released statements grieving his death, including Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Dave Bautista, Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, and Taika Waititi.
Brie released a statement expressing her loss on Twitter. “Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. 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 honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend.”
Saldana commented on an Instagram post on Boseman’s page saying that she’ll keep his memory alive through her family “my sons will know your name forever”.
According to his profile on IMDb, Chadwick was born in Anderson, South Carolina, and graduated from Howard University with a degree in directing. After graduating in 2000, he went on to New York City’s Digital Film Academy. Boseman had small roles throughout his career until his big break in 2013 when he landed the role of Jackie Robinson, opposite Harrison Ford, in the film “42”.
Chadwick’s life touched many as social media became flooded with tributes to the late actor when news of his death broke. Senator, and the recent Democratic nominee for Vice President, Kamala Harris released a statement on Twitter regarding Boseman’s death saying that she is “heartbroken”. The statement said “My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family.”