Chadwick Boseman, a famous actor and real-life fighter, passed away last August 28, 2020. The world halted as the news of Chadwick Boseman’s death took over every news outlet and social media platform. Known for his notable role as the Black Panther, Boseman’s representation of the Black community touched the hearts of many people.
Indeed, he served as our beloved hero on and off-screen.
Chadwick Boseman Before Hollywood
The famous actor Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born on November 29, 1976. Boseman always showed his passion for writing and production even before he went to Hollywood. He attended Howard University where he acquired a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. The actor also attended the British American Drama Academy in England.
While his primary ambition was to work behind the camera, Boseman also took part in multiple theater productions. This served as a testament to the actor’s dream of pursuing the arts. He carried out the direction of numerous stage plays and films, such as the drama short Blood Over a Broken Pawn in 2008.
The actor also proved his talents as he became a multi-awarded playwright. He wrote masterpieces such as Deep Azure, Rhyme Deferred, and Hieroglyphic Graffiti. In fact, his script on Deep Azure was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award back in 2006. Boseman was undeniably talented and at the same time, determined when it came to his craft.
Chadwick Boseman’s Career Milestones
We came to know Chadwick Boseman through his regal performance as King T’Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The public also came to know him through his portrayal of historic Black legends in sports, music, and law. More than an actor, people regarded Boseman as an icon who firmly believed in the value of his Black community representation.
Chadwick Boseman on Television
Boseman’s acting career broke through when he was featured in various television shows, the first one being Third Watch. Since then, the actor had also starred in CSI: NY, ER, and Law and Order.
Through his talents in drama and acting, Chadwick Boseman landed a spot in All My Children where he portrayed Reggie Porter. However, the actor only starred in the soap opera for a week. This was due to his refusal to play the role because it contradicted with his personal manifesto. Boseman took a stand against the character’s representation according to racial stereotypes. He did this even if it was one of his first major career credits. Eventually, the writers of the show considered his suggestions on how to improve the character.
In 2008, Boseman appeared on the Lincoln Heights series and The Express film. After two years, the actor also appeared in Persons Unknown as Graham McNair. Eventually, he took on various roles in different films, paving the way for his acting career to develop further.
Chadwick Boseman Movies
One of Chadwick Boseman’s first-ever lead roles hailed from the movie, 42. The film dates back to 2013 and is where Boseman starred alongside famous Star Wars actor, Harrison Ford. Boseman portrayed Jackie Robinson, a basketball legend, whom people know as the first African-American player who played in the major leagues. Notably, director Brian Helgeland admired Boseman’s determination, as he auditioned twice for the role. In the end, the director selected Boseman to take on the role as Robinson. Boseman eventually impressed the public with his outstanding performance and onscreen charisma.
In the years to come, more doors opened for the African-American actor. In 2014, he starred in Draft Day with Kevin Costner. He also portrayed James Brown in the 2014 film, Get on Up. The public highly praised the movie for the actor’s excellent performance. Boseman himself exerted great efforts in getting the character right. The director of the film shared that Boseman would ask for re-takes just so he could give justice to Brown’s portrayal.
Two years later, Boseman starred in Gods of Egypt as the Egyptian god Thoth. In the same year, he made his first appearance in the MCU as King T’Challa — otherwise known as Black Panther — in Captain America: Civil War. Following Civil War, the now iconic Black Panther movie was released in 2018. Boseman reprised his role as King T’Challa, this time being at the fore of the story. He also appeared in succeeding Marvel films such as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Then, in 2019, Boseman portrayed Andre Davis, an NYPD detective in 21 Bridges.
With the entirety of his works, Chadwick Boseman always exceeded people’s expectations. He inspired a lot of aspiring actors, directors, and heroes all over the world.
The Black Panther: A Defining Cultural Moment
Most people came to know Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther actor. More than admiring the character, Boseman himself was celebrated as well. He powerfully depicted the beauty and strength of a Black superhero who nurtures his community and culture.
The Black Panther film garnered over $218 million on its initial release, making it a box office hit. The movie eventually reaped critical acclaim and numerous awards. It was the first-ever superhero movie that acquired a nomination for the Oscars for the Best Picture Award.
More than all the nominations and awards, the film was also deemed as a historical milestone for the Black Community. The manner in which they are portrayed to be leaders, inventors, and revered members of society valued the importance of their potential. This shift in Black representation inspired many people, especially black youth.
Chadwick Boseman: The Black Panther We Revere
Chadwick Boseman was acclaimed not just for his gravitas and excellent performance. He was also praised for being a real-life hero rooted in his humanity.
During the Black Panther auditions, a lot of actors tried applying for the lead role. Boseman stood out and had been the absolute choice for the character. His ability to fuse kingly royalty with fervent compassion impressed the Marvel team — and the public thereafter.
Marvel also selected Boseman due to his experience and wide knowledge of playing historical figures. He used his past experiences on character portrayals to depict the Black Panther role in the best way he can. The actor did not only play the role excellently, he also exerted a lot of effort into improving it.
For months, Boseman worked and perfected the accent he felt King T’Challa should have. In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chadwick Boseman stated that he used his performance in Message from the King as Jacob King to perfect his accent. Boseman shared that his experience on set helped him find his “base for an authentic African dialect.” As we later saw in his portrayal of Black Panther, it can be said that Boseman truly delivered an authentic and captivating performance.
Chadwick Boseman Weight Loss
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I am hearing stories of desperation from people all over the country, and we know our communities are suffering the most and urgently need help. Celebrating #JackieRobinsonDay with the launch of Thomas Tull’s #Operation42, a donation of 4.2 million dollars in personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals that service the African American Communities who have been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you, Jackie, for refusing to accept the world as it is, for showing us that we can make a difference.
In April 2020, Chadwick Boseman posted an Instagram video to promote Operation 42, in honor of Jackie Robinson. In the post, Boseman spoke up about the initiative’s aim to provide medical help to African-American people. Despite his good intentions and urgent message, the public seemed to focus more on his appearance instead.
Eventually, the public became even more concerned as photos of the T’Challa actor surfaced online. In June 2020, pictures showed Boseman in a wheelchair as he was brought to a hospital by then-fiancé Taylor Simone Ledward.
Since these instances, the public made various speculations. This includes the rumors that he was getting ready for a future role. However, some insensitive online users bullied Boseman by giving harsh comments on his appearance—some even calling him ‘deathly skinny’ or ‘ugly skinny.’ There were some who even accused the actor of using drugs.
The bullying and unkind remarks pushed Boseman to delete some of his posts as he was fighting for his life. This serves as a reminder for people to be kind. True enough and as was the case with Boseman, everyone is braving a battle that we do not know about.
Black Male Actor to Real Life Hero
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
After giving powerhouse performances and starring in paramount films, Chadwick Boseman passed away on August 28, 2020.
In a statement posted on his social media accounts, his family shared that Boseman “died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer back in 2016. During which, he was filming movies here and there. While undergoing multiple treatments, the actor never failed to give his all. He served to be a real-life hero more than anything.
Tribute to Chadwick Boseman
The news of Chadwick Boseman’s death shattered the news and the hearts of everyone who came to know the actor. People from all walks of life shared the same grief over the sudden news. At the young age of 43, people always recognized Boseman for his moral values and exceptional talent.
As he was gone too soon, notable figures and celebrities mourned and paid their tributes to the actor.
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“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. 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
As some may know, Angela Bassett starred alongside Boseman in Black Panther. Boseman’s friend and co-star posted a photo of them on Instagram where she praised Boseman for his talent and dedication. For her, they were meant to be a family. Bassett shared of her time receiving her honorary degree from Howard University. As it turns out, the student assigned to escort her that day was none other than Boseman himself. It was a touching anecdote that showed how Bassett’s history with the actor came full circle thanks to Black Panther.
Boseman’s fellow Marvel actor also shared his grief on social media. The Guardians of the Galaxy actor shared a photo of Boseman on Instagram. Pratt extended his prayers to Boseman’s loved ones. He added, ”The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul.”
— Don" 't stop believing" Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
While quote-retweeting the statement released on Boseman’s Twitter account, Don Cheadle posted a photo of himself with both Boseman and Taylor Simone Ledward. Cheadle shared that he would miss his birthday brother, as the two were both born on November 29. He also stated that Boseman was always light and love to him.
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Rest in Power King T’Challa. My heart is so heavy right now. Your passing has hit me hard. I will tell my sons about you forever. You were one of the classiest men I have ever met in my life. It was an honor to have shared minutes with you on screen and to have crossed paths with you during press. Though our acquaintance was light you always left a lasting impression because of your energy, poise and gentle manner. May the Universe deliver you to your promise land brother. ~ Que en paz y en poder logres descansar finalmente. Con lo poco que estuviste aquí, dejaste un legado increíble!!!
Also sharing a photo of Boseman on her Instagram account, Zoe Saldana expressed her grief on the news of Boseman’s death. She went on to say that she would always tell her sons about the actor. Saldana also expressed gratitude in having the opportunity to work with Boseman. Additionally, she further praised Boseman for his class and energy.
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) August 29, 2020
One of Boseman’s co-stars, Brie Larson, also expressed her grief towards the actor’s passing. Larson took to Twitter and wrote, “Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself.” She also extended her heart to Boseman and his family while wishing him peace and rest.
I want to dedicate this pole to Chadwick. What he accomplished and the legacy he left is so incredible to me. He’s inspired a whole generation of young black men and women and provided them with a true superhero to look up to. Rest in power my friend.#WakandaForever #blackpanther pic.twitter.com/M7EgGess9p
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) August 29, 2020
Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton posted a photo of himself on Twitter doing the famous Wakanda pose, inspired by the Black Panther film. Hamilton dedicated his pole at the Belgian Grand Prix as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. The racer tweeted, “He’s inspired a whole generation of young black men and women and provided them with a true superhero to look up to.”
Robert Downey Jr.
The Iron Man actor paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman by posting a video of them on Instagram. Despite sharing only a few movies together, Downey stated that he will never forget the good times and laugher he and Boseman shared together. For him, Boseman leveling the playing field whilst battling cancer is a form of heroism.
On the Thor actor’s Instagram account, Hemsworth shared a throwback picture of himself and Boseman. He expressed his absolute heartbreak over the news. Hemsworth described Boseman as “one of the kindest most genuine people” he has ever met. He also shared his support for Boseman’s family.
I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking.
Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King💙 pic.twitter.com/oBERXlw66Z
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 29, 2020
The Captain America actor expressed his devastation over the news of Boseman’s passing. He posted photos of himself and Boseman on his Twitter account. Boseman’s Marvel co-star tweeted, “He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create.” The actor also uttered his gratitude for their friendship and wished Boseman rest.
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.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
Another Marvel co-star of Boseman’s Marvel co-star took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late actor. Mark Ruffalo described Boseman as having great talent. The actor, who portrays The Hulk in the MCU, also wrote, “Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya.” To conclude his tribute, Ruffalo eventually wished for the late actor to rest in power.
Martin Luther King III
Chadwick Boseman brought history to life on the silver screen, from Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall.
As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many.
And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/f0Tc8ByaXj
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) August 29, 2020
The human rights advocate expressed his grief over the passing of Boseman on Twitter. He shared a photo of the late actor and praised Boseman for his great films. King wrote, “As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many.”
Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years. https://t.co/KazXV1e7l7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 29, 2020
Among the notable people that paid tribute to the late actor was former US President Barack Obama. Quote-tweeting a photo of them in 2016, Obama deemed Boseman to be “blessed.” He added, “To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.”
Chadwick Boseman’s Legacy Will Live On
Chadwick Boseman’s life might have been stopped short due to his disease, but his incredible legacy will live on. He displayed immense talent as he portrayed various roles on-screen. At the same time, he exhibited great strength as he battled cancer for four years. As a global Black icon, Boseman always found new ways to fuel his fellow black people with pride and inspiration.
The actor is, without a doubt, an icon in his own right. As he was passing down his MTV Movie Best Superhero award to James Shaw Jr. in April 2018, Boseman uttered the following words: “Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing, but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life.”
And indeed, Chadwick Boseman proved to be a real-life fighter and superhero that people will always revere and continue to look up to.