Chadwick Boseman trained hard to shoot the Black Panther despite his diagnosis. He will always be remembered as the prince who died too soon.
US actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing King T'Challa in Black Panther, died of cancer at 43. He was at home with his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family when he passed away, a statement posted on social media said.
The Black Panther actor was fighting colon cancer privately for four years, and his death has stunned his fans and Hollywood. "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. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much," his family said in the statement. "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," his family said. "The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time," they continued.
It is believed that he married his partner of many years, Ledward, in a private ceremony before he died, according to Mirror UK. The 42 actor spoke about his relationship publicly for the first time at the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles, California. While making a speech after winning Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for Black Panther, he said, "Simone, you're with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you."
He became the first black superhero to get his own standalone film in the Marvel franchise. He first appeared as the character in 2016's Captain America: Civil War but received the diagnosis not long after, according to Daily Mail. However, it did not stop him from dedicating himself to his work. The actor trained hard to get in shape and learned Angolan capoeira, Dambe boxing, Zulu stick fighting, karate, kung-fu, and jiu-jitsu for the role, which has many fight scenes.
The Marshall actor was mourned by his Marvel and other co-stars. Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the Marvel films, posted on Instagram, "Gonna miss you mate. Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the kindest most genuine people I've met. Sending love and support to all the family xo RIP."
Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk, said, "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."
Captain America actor Chris Evans wrote, "I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. 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. 💙"
"My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones," Wrote Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt tweeted. "The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul. #wakandaforever" Boseman's co-star Don Cheadle said, "I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. My God."
Other Hollywood actors also opened up about their heartbreak over losing Boseman. "He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career," said Oscar winner Denzel Washington, according to Sky News. "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!" said Viola Davis.
Actress Halle Berry said, "Here's to an incredible man with immeasurable talent, who leaned into life regardless of his personal battles. You never truly know what the people around you might be going through - treat them with kindness and cherish every minute you have together. RIP #ChadwickBoseman."