Chadwick Boseman, best-known for his regal role as King T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther, has died at the age of 43.
The actor passed after a four-year battle with cancer.
According to a statement posted to Boseman’s Twitter account, the actor died at home with his family and wife by his side.
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016,” the statement reads. It also reveals that he “battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.”
Boseman had never publicly disclosed his battle with cancer.
“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 Riney’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy,” the statement revealed.
Boseman wowed audiences playing several historical figures. He won over audiences as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017). He managed to humanize the larger-than-life historical figures with reserved dignity.
However, it was with his role as King T’Challa in the boundary-breaking film Black Panther, that he became a global icon. He brought the movie to life with his captivating intensity and regal performance.
Bringing that role to life was “the honor of his career.”
Expressions of shock and grief have been pouring in from everywhere — fans, fellow actors, directors, athletes, musicians, and even politicians.
“Our hearts are broken. … Your legacy will live on forever,” Marvel Studios tweeted.
They also tweeted a series of photos of Boseman on Marvel sets with his fellow cast members.
Actor Chris Evans, Boseman’s co-star in Marvel’s Avengers movies, tweeted that he is “absolutely devastated” over the “heartbreaking” news.
“I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship,” Evans wrote. “Rest in power, King.”
Disney executive chairman Bob Iger called the actor “an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met. He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther.”
“This is a crushing blow,” tweeted actor and director Jordan Peele.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris revealed how heartbroken she was over Boseman’s passing. Both Boseman and Harris attended Howard University, whose mascot is the bison.
“My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family,” Harris wrote alongside a photo of her and Boseman.
Even Martin Luther King III took to Twitter in the wake of Boseman’s death, saying that the actor “brought history to life” with his roles.
“As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many,” he wrote. “And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed.”