Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died after a private four-year battle with colon cancer, his family said in a statement on Friday. He was 43.
Born in South Carolina the son of a nurse and an upholstery entrepreneur, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. He has roots in the West African country Sierra Leone.
The news has left fans and the film world stunned. Get Out director Jordan Peele, said it was “a crushing blow”.
Black Panther was the first superhero film to get a nomination for best picture at the Oscars.
The actor passed away at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side. They did not specify when he died.
‘It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,’ the family said.
‘A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.’
The family revealed several of Boseman’s recent films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.’
But upon news of his death, his colleagues and friends pay homage to someone they considered a hero in his own right. A man who fought a private health battle for four years while also producing the kind of powerful and important work some actors can only hope to produce in a much longer life than Boseman had.
Here are some of their thoughts.
“Viscid by your loss. We needed you now more than ever. I loved you, man. We’ve all done it. You will miss us.
Our little black boys lost a superhero today. Black Panther has wings now. We have all won an angel. This man made sure that our heroes would live forever.
Heroes like: Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown. You loved us.