Hollywood pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther star has died of cancer, aged 43

by Amber Wilkinson

Hollywood and film fans have paid tribute to Black Panther star Chadwick Bosmenan, who has died of cancer, aged 43.

On his Twitter feed, a statement said he been fighting colon cancer since 2016 and had died at his LA home, expressing his family's "immeasurable grief".

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther Photo: Marvel Studios
It added: "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."

Get Out director Jordan Peele described the news as, "A crushing blow", while Boseman's Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo wrote in reply to the news of Boseman's death: "It was the highest honor getting to work with you and getting to know you. What a generous and sincere human being. You believed in the sacred nature of the work and gave your all. Much love to your family. And much love from all of us left here."

Oscar-winning producer Matthew A Cherry wrote: "Chadwick gave you something different in every role. You can tell he really was an actor that was deeply invested in research and his craft. From Howard University, To Oxford to The big screen. He was the best of us and he will be deeply missed."

Actor Dwayne Johnson tweeted: "Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family."

Tributes were also paid by politicians, including Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris. Posting a photo of herself and the star, she wrote: "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."

And Oprah Winfrey tweeted: "What a gentle gifted soul. Showing us all that greatness between surgeries and chemotherapy. This is what dignity looks like."

Many fans also talked about how his role in Black Panther had also been a game-changer for their children, in terms of seeing themselves on screen. Among them, was writer Brian Josephs, who tweeted: "Chadwick Boseman is a big reason why our kids don't have to wonder about what a Black superhero is."

Yesterday afternoon, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige added in a statement: "Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend.

"Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family."

After starting out in TV, Boseman initially made a name for himself on the big screen in Jackie Robinson and James Brown biopics 42 and Get On Up, his performances bringing a real physicality to the roles, but he will be remembered to many of his legions of fans as T’Challa in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther.

Speaking about the impact of Black Panther last year, when the film became the first superhero movie to win the top gong at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, he talked about how important it was in terms of its casting.

He said: "All of us up here know what it's like to be told there is not a place for you to be featured, yet you are young, gifted and black.

"We know what it's like to be told there's not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it's like to be the tail and not the head, to be beneath and not above and that is what we went to work with every day. Because we knew … that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”

You can watch the speech here:

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