Chadwick Boseman, the actor best known for playing Black Panther in four Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, died Friday of cancer. He was 43.
According to a family statement, he was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled the disease over the last four years as it advanced 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 statement read. “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.”
Boseman died in his home with his wife and family by his side.
Before his star-making turn in “Black Panther” (which was nominated fora Best Picture Oscar) Boseman played real-life historical Black icons Jackie Robinson in “42,” James Brown in “Get on Up” and Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.”
He made his debut as T’Challa/Black Panther in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” A standalone spin-off, “Black Panther,” followed in February 2018, followed by “Avengers: Infinity War” in April 2018. His last big-screen appearance as Black Panther was in 2019’s “Avengers: End Game.”
“Black Panther 2” was slated for a 2022 release date.
Chadwick Boseman was born in Anderson, South Carolina. He attended Howard University, graduating with a BFA in Directing in 2000. He appeared on several television shows before landing his breakout role as Jackie Robinson in “42.”
His last on-screen role was in Spike Lee’s film “Da 5 Bloods,” where he played the “Stormin” Norman Earl Holloway, the leader of a group of Black army soldiers in the Vietnam War. The film premiered in June on Netflix. The actor finished filming the streamer’s adaptation of August Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” with Viola Davis prior to the pandemic, though a release date has not yet been announced.
Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer, Marvel, wrote “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. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
You can read more tributes to the actor here and see his family statement below:
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