Chadwick Boseman has died at the age of 43. The actor’s cause of death is reportedly from colon cancer.
According to an update on his Instagram page, Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer back in 2016. He battled the disease for the past four years as it progressed to stage IV.
Boseman is survived by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward.
Boseman Kept Diagnosis Quiet
According to The Associated Press, by way of ABC 27, the actor had not spoken publicly about his cancer battle in the four years since his diagnosis. The report noted that Boseman died at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family members.
After his passing, his family released a statement saying that he had continued to work while undergoing treatment, appearing in a series of films while also going through surgeries and chemotherapy.
That included his most famous role as King T’Challa in Black Panther.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” family members said. “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.”
While Boseman kept his fight with cancer a secret, TMZ noted that some fans had grown concerned in recent weeks as he shared a series of social media posts in which he looked frail. That included a video shared in April commemorating Jackie Robinson Day by praising an initiative that was donating $4.2 million in personal protective equipment to hospitals serving African American communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the video, his face and neck were noticeably thinner, prompting some fans to question whether he was in poor health.
Tributes Pour In For Black Panther Star
With the announcement of Boseman’s death late on Friday night, many from the entertainment world took to social media to share their condolences and remember a talented life cut short far too soon.
Many pointed out how his Marvel role served as a role model for Black children not used to seeing superheroes that looked like them.
I keep thinking about my 3-year-old in his Black Panther costume. How he wore it almost every day when he got it, refused to take it off. The way he walked around saying “I’m the Black Panther.” How happy it made him. What Chadwick gave us was immeasurable. What an enormous loss.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) August 29, 2020
Marvel Entertainment shared a message of condolence on Twitter, saying that his work would live on.
“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family,” the message read. “Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace.”
Some fans noted the strength it must have taken to continue working through such a difficult health battle — all while keeping it quiet.
Others praised Boseman for his role as Jackie Robinson in 42, bringing the baseball legend to life.
The condolences came from beyond the world of entertainment, with even Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden remembering the actor and the impact he had on American society. Biden said the true power of the actor was bigger than anything that appeared on screen.
“From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time,” Biden tweeted.