- Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died at age 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer
- His family confirmed his passing in a statement on social media Friday revealing the actor was diagnosed with stage III cancer in 2016 that later progressed to stage IV
- Boseman is survived by his wife and a parent and had no children, his publicist said. He had kept his diagnosis and much of his personal life under wraps
- The star was reported to be dating Taylor Simone Ledward in 2019 and the couple was last seen in public together in February, but their marriage was never reported until his death
- News of Boseman’s death came on the day the MLB was celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating the iconic baseball star the actor portrayed in the 2013 biopic ’42’
- Several of Boseman’s recent films were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy’, his family revealed
- Tributes and expressions of shock poured in from across the entertainment industry on social media
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.
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.’
‘It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,’ the statement said. ‘The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.’
Boseman is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward and a parent and had no children, his publicist said. The actor had kept his diagnosis and much of his personal life under wraps.
He had been reported to be dating Ledward after the pair were spotted together on the red carpet at the 2019 SAG awards, but his marriage was not reported until his death.
The couple was last seen together in February at the 69th NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.
Boseman had not spoken publicly about his cancer diagnosis, but had sparked concerns over his health earlier this year after fans took note of his unusually thin appearance.
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 actor had been known for playing real-life figures, including professional baseball player Jackie Robinson in 2013 biopic, 42, James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s Marshall.
But his most memorable role was his 2018 performance as T’Challa, king of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda and the crime fighter known as Black Panther, in the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly African-American cast.
The film went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. It won three Academy Awards – in the best original score, best costume design and best production design categories.
Boseman originated the Black Panther film role two years earlier in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, and reprised the part twice more in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
He shrugged off doubters who tried to convince him not to give the superhero an African accent, saying: ‘There was a time period where people would ask me questions about whether or not an audience could sit through a movie with a lead character that spoke with that accent. I became adamant about the fact that it’s not true.’
But that did not stop the star from appearing in multiple movies – despite film sets’ notoriously long shooting days and tough working schedules.
For his biggest role, Black Panther, the star trained rigorously to get in shape and learned Angolan capoeira, Dambe boxing, Zulu stick fighting, karate, kung-fu and jiu-jitsu for the role and its many fight scenes.
In March 2017, while shooting the movie, his costar Andy Serkis described the gruelling big chase sequence, filmed in Busan, South Korea.
More than 700 crew members and 150 vehicles were gathered to film Boseman’s T’Challa pursue Serkis’ evil arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, who he brings down with a knee to the chest.
‘It was a night shoot and the very, very first take he kneed me so hard in the chest, ’cause he couldn’t really see with his mask on,’ Serkis recalled. ‘I felt like he had broken my ribs in that very first take.’
They shot the scene at least 30 times, according to Serkis, who said Boseman – who was still battling cancer at the time – gave incredible energy and performance each time.
When he wasn’t filming, the star also paid a visit to children’s hospital St Jude’s to visit children suffering from cancer – something he was sadly all too familiar with at the time.
Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. His striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Jackie Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013´s ’42’ drew attention in Hollywood and made him a star. He also starred in James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up the following year.
Boseman died on a day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson day. ‘His transcendent performance in `42´ will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie´s story to audiences for generations to come,’ the league wrote in a tweet.
He first played Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, before the character headlined a hugely successful blockbuster in 2018.
The film´s vision of Afrofuturism and the technologically advanced civilization of Wakanda resonated with audiences, some of whom wore African attire to showings and helped propel ‘Black Panther’ to more than $1.3 billion in global box office. It is the only Marvel Studios film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination.
The character was last seen standing silently dressed in a black suit at Tony Stark´s funeral in last year´s ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ A ‘Black Panther’ sequel had been announced, and was one of the studio’s most anticipated upcoming films.
Culled from Dailymail