Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role in “Black Panther,” waged a secret, four-year battle with colon cancer, before finally succumbing to the disease at age 43.
“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,” his family said in an Instagram post.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all. 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.
“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.
“It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time,” the statement said.
Boseman is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward and a parent. He had no children and his marriage to Taylor was not reported until his death, according to his publicist.
Although Chadwick had kept his illness a secret, he sparked concerns for his health earlier this year when he lost a considerable amount of weight.
A number of Marvel stars took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late actor following his death.
“Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself,” wrote Brie Larson.
“I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend.”
Mark Ruffalo added: “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.”
Chris Evans said he was absolutely devastated.
“This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original,” he wrote.
“He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. Few performers have such power and versatility. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in power, King.”
Angela Bassett – who played Queen Ramonda, the mother of Chadwick Boseman’s character T’Challa in Marvel’s “Black Panther” shared a sweet story about how they met years ago when Angela was being feted at Howard University, Chadwick’s alma mater.
“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,” She wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
Many other celebrities also took to social media to pay tribute.
Jamie Foxx wrote on Instagram: “Please Jesus please… I know you know what’s best… but at this moment our hearts are writhing with so much pain… so to lose this beautiful black king renders me weak…please watch over his family and loved ones…. @chadwickboseman you have touched the lives of all of us… u will forever be remembered in the highest regard… REST IN POWER! our black king! Our black panther!”
John Legend added: “I’m so shocked and heartbroken about Chadwick. He was such a bright light, such a gifted performer. He brought grace, elegance and power to everything he did. He always seemed to carry our ancestors with him. And now he joins them far too soon.”
Oprah Winfrey paid tribute by writing: “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.”
Don Cheadle wrote: “i will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god …forever and ever …”, Ava DuVernay wrote: “May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so,” and Jada Pinkett Smith commented: “Rest In Love Chadwick.”
Viola Davis said: “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!”
Blair Underwood posted: “Such a towering talent. May God bless his family & loved ones during this very difficult time. Thank you for inspiring us & sharing your gifts in your brief 43 years… Rest In Blessings young KING! As @amandaseales just said, “please universe, make it stop!” #chadwickboseman”
And, Gabby Sidibe tweeted: “Heartbreaking. The loss of Chadwick Boseman life and light. The 4 year battle in secret. It’s all heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking” and Lakeith Stanfield wrote: “I don’t like to run to posting but you were always so solid and kind when we crossed paths. I wanna hold you up. Love to your family. Rest In Peace brother.”