This morning, the world woke up to the tragic and unexpected news of Black panther actor, Chadwick Boseman’s death. Boseman’s publicist confirmed that he died of cancer at his home in Los Angeles earlier today, surrounded by his wife and family. He was 43.
According to a statement posted on the actor’s Instagram page, Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and was privately battling the illness all these years. “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.” The statement said. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther” statement continues.
Boseman’s most acclaimed role is King T’Challa in the blockbuster, the comic marvel, Black Panther. The film is one of the biggest box-office hits of all time, generating more than 1.3 billion dollars worldwide.
More than any other marvel comic movie character, Black Panther was a cultural revolution, a milestone in the film industry, as it brought to big screens worldwide a movie with a black superhero supported by a predominantly black cast and director.
Beside Black Panther, Boseman brought to life other iconic black figures such as baseball hero Jackie Robinson, who broke the racial barrier by becoming the first African-American to play in the Major League Baseball, James Brown, the Godfather of Soul music and Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer and civil rights activists, who became the first African-American Justice to the Supreme Court.
On numerous occasions, a tired-looking Chadwick drew internet users’ comments joking that he was tired of obliging to do the Wakanda salute to fans; last year, pictures of a noticeably skinnier Chadwick surfaced online, raising worries on his health and leaving some to wonder if the dramatic weight loss was for an upcoming movie role.
Chadwick is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward, whom he reportedly married earlier this year.
Watch below an emotional video of fans telling the impact watching the movie had on them.