Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018)Image Credit: Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther (2018).
Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, died on Friday of cancer. He was 43.
Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press news agency.
He was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement.
"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much," his family said.
"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 had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis. He is survived by his wife and a parent and had no children, Fioravante said.
Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. His striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013′s 42 drew attention in Hollywood and made him a star.
His T'Challa character was first introduced to the blockbuster Marvel movies in 2016′s Captain America: Civil War, and his Wakanda Forever salute reverberated around the world after the release of Black Panther two years ago.
Black Panther, the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly African American cast, went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture.
It won three Academy Awards - in the best original score, best costume design and best production design categories.
Tributes for Chadwick Boseman:
The Black Panther - Chadwick Boseman passed away last night. My deepest condolences to his family and the Black Panther family. May his soul rest in peace. King T’Chaka. Wakanda Forever— JohnKani (@JohnKani2) August 29, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/C5xGkUi9oZ— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 29, 2020
The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 29, 2020