Stars Mourn the Death of Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman

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Hollywood is reeling at the shocking death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday of cancer.

The actor passed away at his home in Los Angeles with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press. In a statement, his family revealed that Boseman had been diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. He had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis.

Boseman first gained notice by playing Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown in critically acclaimed biopics, but it was his role as Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe that rocketed him to superstardom.

“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 in a statement. “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."

According to reports, the actor secretly married his girlfriend, singer Taylor Simone Ledward, in the months before his death. They began dating in 2015, and reportedly got engaged in October 2019.

Boseman’s costars and other celebrities have taken to social media to express their grief and condolences:

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“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother...”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar...”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.” #WakandaForever

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How do I start to honor a man who I saw as a giant in many ways; with whom I thought I had so much more time...I am absolutely devastated by the loss of my friend and hero, Chadwick Boseman... I feel sick ... I’m in pain and I can’t belive he’s gone. Chadwick was a lightning rod for me... he gave me direction... when I saw “42”, I said, I could be like THIS guy. I knew I belonged because I could see myself in you... that’s what heroes do... they seem familiar because they make it possible for us to see our potential best selves demonstrated through them... Through seeing Chad’s work, I was able to say, “I could be just like you one day“ and when I saw you in person for the first time... at my audition for Black Panther, you acknowledged me and my dream by saying, “he’s ready”! Man, your words that day made me feel like my dream was finally real! Chadwick then proceeded to show us collectively everyday on set what it was to be a leading man. Not only through his work but by how he welcomed and created a space for all of us to feel safe, open and bold ... You even worked with me 1 on 1, on our scenes, so that we could get it right, well before the day of the filming ....Chadwick, Thank you! Chadwick, you are the best...you are me and I’m you and we are all one! Thanks for being someone I could look up to on and off screen ... your calm confidence was inspiring and exemplary. Thanks for sharing with me... you go ahead ...you did your job and did it well! You will NEVER be forgotten. Your heroism is now legend. We’ll carry the load and honor your legacy, the rest of the way! Bless King! #chadwickboseman #wakandaforever

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