The actor, who starred in Marvel’s Black Panther and Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016.
His publicist Nicki Fioravante informed AP that he died in his Los Angeles home alongside his wife and family. Boseman had never spoken publicly about his battle with cancer.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” reads a statement from his family.”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.”
In a 2018 interview with CNET Magazine, Boseman talked about all the reasons he loved playing the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
“I love that he thinks about other people,” he said. “He’s not afraid to hear wise counsel. I think there is some fear of being wrong. I identify with that, with his plight, his personality. And I love him because the fantasy of playing a ruler — you never get to do that. You never get to explore what that is. It’s fun having power and having a say in what happens to the people around you.”
Born in 1976 in South Carolina, Boseman was initially known for his portrayal of real-life figures like James Brown in Get on Up, Jackie Robinson in 42 and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. He rose to superstardom when cast as Black Panther in numerous movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Avengers: Endgame; Captain America: Civil War; and Black Panther — a groundbreaking comic book movie that scored seven nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
“Your legacy will live on forever,” Marvel Studios tweeted. DC Comics also shared a tribute: “To a hero who transcends universes. Wakanda Forever.”
Boseman died on Jackie Robinson Day, which honors the professional baseball player he portrayed in the 2013 film 42. Survivors include his brothers Kevin and Derrick Boseman and his wife Taylor Simone Ledward.
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