Chadwich Boseman, who played T’Challa in Black Panther, has died at the age of 43. Although Boseman had never spoken publicly about his illness, his publicist confirmed Boseman battled colon cancer since 2016 and filmed scenes from several movies in between chemotherapy and surgeries.
A statement released from Boseman’s family called the actor “A true fighter” who persevered through it all. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Colleagues and fans immediately flooded Twitter with messages of condolence. Presidential candidate Joe Biden said Boseman showed generations of fans that they can be anything they want.
Boseman’s career in Hollywood began in 2008 with his role of Floyd Little in “The Express: The Ernie Davis Story.” Boseman had a rocky relationship with Hollywood, telling fans that the experience of a black actor was much different than that of a white actor.
“How often do you see a movie about a black hero who has a love story?” Boseman asked the Associated Press while promoting his movie, “42.” “He has a spirituality. He has an intellect. It’s weird to say it, but it doesn’t happen often,” he said of the protagonist of that film.
Boseman first entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016, playing T’Challa in “Captain America: Civil War.” From there he stared in “Black Panther” in 2018 and “Avengers: Infinity War” that same year.
Boseman finished filming one last movie before his passing, co-starring alongside Viola Davis, who played Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad. Shooting for this Netflix original film, an adaptation of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” finished last summer.