Chadwick Boseman attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 27: Chadwick Boseman attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors†Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. 480720 (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner)

Actor Chadwick Boseman know for playing T’Challa in Black Panther, and for playing Black historical figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall died Friday of colon cancer. He was 43.

In a statement posted to Facebook and Twitter,

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. 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. ⁣⁣He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. ⁣⁣The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. ⁣

Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in 42
Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Get on Up
Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall in Marshall
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa in Black Panther

SAG-AFTRA issued a statement on the Passing of Chadwick Boseman

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chadwick Boseman and our hearts go out to his wife and family.

“The absolute pinnacle of our profession is not fame, fortune or accolades. It is the simple act of touching someone’s heart, nourishing their soul and giving voice and meaning to our hopes and dreams,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Chadwick soared far above those heights inspiring a thousand possibilities in the minds of our children while elevating our culture. He exemplified the best of storytelling and the best of who we can be leaving a lasting legacy that sustains us. Rest in peace.”

“He was more than a rising star,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. “He showcased the stories of our past AND our future. He was a true storyteller through his performance. With 42 he anchored our understanding of the past and showed us a path towards magnificent futures with Black Panther.”

Boseman lead the ensemble cast in the title role of Black Panther, which won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture in 2019. 

In his powerful acceptance speech, which can be seen HERE, Chadwick spoke to the power of storytelling to create change and to the experience of being “young, gifted and black”:    

“We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day because we knew — not that we would be around during award season or that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing, that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see,” said Boseman.

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