Chadwick Boseman’s Death Stuns Hollywood: ‘This Broke Me’

“Black Panther” star died Friday following a battle with cancer

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman

Following the shocking news Friday that “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman died following a four-year battle with cancer, the actor’s friends, peers and colleagues mourned his loss.

“You were always light and love to me,” Boseman’s friend, actor Don Cheadle said on Twitter.

“May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so,” producer-director Ava DuVernay wrote.

“This is a crushing blow,” wrote actor-director Jordan Peele.

“This Broke Me,” “Insecure” star Issa Rae said.

In a statement Friday night, Boseman’s family disclosed that he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and had been quietly battling the disease ever since. In the four years since his diagnosis, which came just after his star-making first appearance as T’Challa/Black Panther in “Captain America: Civil War,” Boseman endured what his family said were “countless surgeries and chemotherapy,” while still managing to star in seven films. Among those productions were “Marshall,” “21 Bridges,” and, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

Thomas Tull, who produced Boseman’s breakthrough film “42,” called the actor “a force of nature full of abundant talent and strong spirit. Tonight all baseball teams are wearing 42 to honor Jackie Robinson, and today marks the anniversary of Dr. King’s iconic I Have a Dream speech. Chad was special, he played Jackie Robinson with respect and reverence for the legacy of a man who changed the world. Chad was kind and genuine, I will miss him dearly and I will never forget him. My heart goes out to his wife and family.”

Some of Boseman’s costars and colleagues in the Marvel Cinematic Universe paid also tribute to him Friday.

“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend,” Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said in a statement Friday. “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.”

“We are crushed. Marvel has lost a true superhero and friend, but our hearts are heaviest for Chadwick’s family,” Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito said. ‘Chadwick was a singular force whose King T’Challa showed the world the power of good and the meaning of loyalty and friendship. Wakanda forever, my friend.”

“All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman,” Mark Ruffalo wrote. “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.”

“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,” “Captain America” star Chris Evans said.

“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,” said “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson.

“My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul. #wakandaforever,” “Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt wrote.

“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace,” Marvel Studios said in a statement Friday night.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer, said of Boseman’s passing, “Chadwick was a superhero on screen and in life, and it’s impossible to imagine working at the level he has while valiantly battling his illness. His legacy as a person and an artist will inspire millions. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time.”

Also weighing in, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Boseman”inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes,” while his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, said she was “Heartbroken,” and that “My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble.”

Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences called his death “An immeasurable loss.”

Read on for a sample of tributes to the late actor:


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