American actor Chadwick Boseman best known for playing Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Films has died of cancer aged 43.
He died in Los Angeles with his wife and family by his side, a statement posted on social media said.
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. The news of his death came as a shock to many as Boseman never discussed his diagnosis publicly.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you 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. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,” his family said in the statement.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
Many fellow actors and celebrities paid tribute to Boseman via social media following the announcement of his death.
Actor Mark Ruffalo wrote, “All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of Chadwick Boseman. 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.”
Actor Dwayne Johnson tweeted: “Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family.”
“Heartbroken. 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,” Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris wrote.
Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, to Carolyn both African American. His mother was a nurse and his father worked at a textile factory, managing an upholstery business as well. Boseman graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995.
In his junior year, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed.
Boseman attended college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. He wanted to write and direct, and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors.
He lived in Brooklyn at the start of his career and worked as the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. In 2008, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
Despite playing roles on television, it wasn’t until 2013 that he hit the big time in 42.
In 2016 he started portraying the Marvel Comics character 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. The film opened to great anticipation, becoming 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.
Boseman became engaged to singer Taylor Simone Ledward in 2019 and they later married.