Chadwick Boseman

As if this year hadn’t already given us enough grief, we are sad to report that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who also played such iconic pop culture figures as James Brown and Jackie Robinson, has suddenly passed away at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. We have truly lost a king.

Here’s the official announcement about the passing of Chadwick Boseman from his own Twitter account:

The news was also confirmed by The Associated Press, who spoke with Chadwick Boseman’s publicist Nicki Fioravantes about the actor’s passing. Boseman died at his him in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and family. The actor was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, but it was not made public. Boseman was working on films during that entire time in between various surgeries and chemotherapy.

Chadwick Boseman’s career began with small roles on TV shows such as the soap opera All My Children, the medical drama Third Watch, and crime dramas Law & Order and CSI: NY.

After a supporting big screen role as Floyd Little in the football drama The Express, Boseman started making more significant appearances on television, including ER, Cold Case, Lie to Me, Lincoln Heights, Persons Unknown, The Glades, Castle, Justified and Fringe.

But Boesman’s big screen career truly took off after he played the color barrier-breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson in the biographical sports drama 42. It’s a cruel twist of fate that today is the day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson.

From there, Boseman dug into spots even more with the football drama Draft Day, and he played yet another historical pop culture figure by playing the James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, in the biopic Get On Up.

Starting with Marshall, where Boseman played American lawyer and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall, the actor was working in front of the camera knowing his cancer diagnosis.

For the next four years, he would shoot movies in between surgeries and treatments. That includes the physically taxing role of playing the chiseled African King T’Challa in the first solo superhero movie for the Marvel Comics character in Black Panther, a role he would reprise in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Movies like 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods and the upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom were all shot while Boseman was undergoing treatments, and it seems as if the latter will be the last live-action performance that we’ll get from the actor.

Boseman was also slated to voice Black Panther in Marvel’s What If…? animated series, but it’s unclear if that was already completed before his passing. As for where this leaves the previously announced Black Panther sequel, we have no idea, but we hope Marvel Studios gives him a proper send-off when they inevitably hand off the throne.

This is soul-crushing news that has sent shockwaves through Hollywood and millions of fans around the world. Honestly, we still can’t believe it. But we’re thankful that Chadwick Boseman gave us so many memorable performances in such a small amount of time. He made history with Black Panther, and he ensured that a new generation of young Black boys and girls knew that they could be anything they wanted to be, even a superhero. Chadwick Boseman will be missed dearly, and our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Rest in power, King.

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