Accomplished actor Chadwick Boseman, whose stardom was tremendously elevated by his performances as T’Challa/Black Panther in a number of Marvel movies, has shockingly died at the age of 43 after a private battle with colon cancer.
Said his family in a statement, “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. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Other roles he was best known for include Jackie Robinson — the first Black player in Major League Baseball — in 42 (2013), singer James Brown in Get on Up (2014) and civil rights activist and lawyer Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017).
According to his family, he was first diagnosed with the disease back in 2016.
Born November 29, 1976 in Anderson, South Carolina, he attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., which he graduated from in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. Early on, Chadwick’s intent was to be a movie writer and director, but he also decided to study acting so that he would better be able to relate to actors he worked with. One of his teachers at Howard University was actress Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, Creed), who became a mentor and actually helped to raise the necessary funds for Chadwick and other students to travel to the British American Drama Academy’s Oxford Mid-Summer Program in London. By 2008 he had moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of launching what was now going to be an acting career.
Early roles were on television in shows like Third Watch, Law & Order, CSI: NY and ER. He was a regular in the 2010 series Persons Unknown. On the big screen, his other movie credits include The Express: The Ernie Davis Story (2008), The Kill Hole (2012) and Draft Day (2014). It was, of course, his turn as Black Panther that brought him his greatest box office successes, beginning in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.
He reprised the role of the titular character in 2018, which grossed over $1 billion at the box office and was followed by the epic Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame. Most recently he stars in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and will be represented on screen for the last time in the previously-mentioned Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Marvel had announced the eventual release of Black Panther 2.