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:
Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life... That’s heroism. I’ll remember the good times, the laughter, and the way he changed the game... #chadwickforever @chadwickboseman pic.twitter.com/IFfCSmLrhR
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) August 29, 2020
All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. 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.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
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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
Such a brutal loss. RIP, Chadwick.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 29, 2020
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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
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking.
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. Rest in power, King💙 pic.twitter.com/oBERXlw66Z
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 29, 2020
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Rest in Power King T’Challa. My heart is so heavy right now. Your passing has hit me hard. I will tell my sons about you forever. You were one of the classiest men I have ever met in my life. It was an honor to have shared minutes with you on screen and to have crossed paths with you during press. Though our acquaintance was light you always left a lasting impression because of your energy, poise and gentle manner. May the Universe deliver you to your promise land brother. ~ Que en paz y en poder logres descansar finalmente. Con lo poco que estuviste aquí, dejaste un legado increíble!!!
Devastating news. We lost a great one. Takoto mai rā e Āriki. #chadwickboseman
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) August 29, 2020
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) August 29, 2020
May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so. pic.twitter.com/jdip3RHoXb
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 29, 2020
I want to be crystal clear: without Chadwick, and what he gave to his character, there is no Shang Chi. Period. My career rides on the coattails of a great man.
I wish I would have had the opportunity to tell him in person - but I'll fight for him always, my Eternal King.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) August 29, 2020
Breaking my twitter silence to share some beauty. This was one of my final texts from the brilliant & once-in-lifetime talent, @chadwickboseman - take this in & celebrate life. He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels. pic.twitter.com/Hj8Cb1IfZS
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 29, 2020
— Clark Gregg (@clarkgregg) August 29, 2020
Chadwick was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, per reports. During that time, he gave us Civil War, Marshall, Black Panther, Infinity War, Endgame, 21 Bridges and Da 5 Bloods. Lord only knows what he was going through on a daily basis.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 29, 2020
Chadwick.....no words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity........It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you....Rest well prince...May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you! 💛💛💛 pic.twitter.com/6abglPBOsh
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 29, 2020
F*ck this yr. He was battling stage 4 cancer while being our superhero. & to think people made fun of him for the weight loss. The tongue is a powerful weapon. Be wise in how you use it. Hoping he never doubted his royalty. Praying for his family
— jurnee smollett (@jurneesmollett) August 29, 2020
What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like. https://t.co/U3OOnJVS42
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 29, 2020
This broke me.
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) August 29, 2020
I didn’t know him as well as I wish I could have, but every interaction we shared was full of kindness, depth, and warmth. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they navigate this new and… https://t.co/j8KFikqWl3
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) August 29, 2020
A warrior of light til the very end. A true king. I am without words. May he rise in power. https://t.co/50nfbvZpAq
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) August 29, 2020
I’m floored by this news, Chadwick was one of the best and I really enjoyed watching him work. RIP https://t.co/N9HtKuuMIg
— Ice Cube (@icecube) August 29, 2020
I met Chadwick the day Stan put his hand and footprints into the Chinese Theater Forecourt. He was nice and a little nervous, but very regal - like T’challa. And so talented. This is heartbreaking. 43 is too to die. My heart goes out to his family and fellow fans tonight. https://t.co/cdsjU2oB3B
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) August 29, 2020
Rest In Love Chadwick ✨💛✨ pic.twitter.com/02dFtLUkrk
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) August 29, 2020
This is a crushing blow.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) 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
Rest peacefully Chadwick Boseman. 🕊💔 pic.twitter.com/afiM8DkYCt
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) August 29, 2020
Chadwick was really out here shooting all of these huge action movies while fighting stage 4 colon cancer. Man. Strong isn’t even the word.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) August 29, 2020
This is heartbreaking. Thank you for persevering through it all. You leave behind an incredible body of work and an inspiring legacy. Rest in power. Chadwick Forever. https://t.co/grXopcMLCq
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 29, 2020
Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any worse...
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 29, 2020
CANCEL EVERYTHING. MY GODDDDDDDDD.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather👽🚆🤖🚀🪐 (@JanelleMonae) August 29, 2020
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Gutted at the loss of you. We needed you now more than ever. I loved you, man. We all did. You will be missed. Our little black boys lost a superhero today. Black Panther has wings now. It’s as if we all gained an angel. This man made sure our heroes would live on forever. Heroes like: Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown. You loved us. May your life remind us to always love on each other.
I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed. 🤜🏿🤛🏿 https://t.co/8rK4dWmorq
— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) August 29, 2020
This is such a premature and terrible loss. What a brilliant, beautiful, artistic mind departed us today. So much beauty in such a short period of time. Thank you Chadwick. 👊🏾✊🏾#wakandaforever #RIPchadwickboseman https://t.co/fOhQiqOxiU
— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) August 29, 2020
❤️❤️❤️thank you for the gifts you gave to us while you were here. https://t.co/fvgFMCz89v
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) August 29, 2020
I just can’t take anymore. Is there supposed to be a lesson in 2020? Because if so, fail me now. #chadwickboseman
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 29, 2020
Damn. I never got to meet him, but man do I respect him and his work. He was one of the most inspirational, effective artists of our generation. His work means a lot to me. I looked up to him and I was rooting for him, which he made very easy to do. Such a huge, huge loss. https://t.co/zzwqGOuyu8
— William Jackson Harper (@dubjackharper) August 29, 2020