On screen, Chadwick Boseman was an invincible superhero. In real life, he courageously fought a four-year battle against cancer and lost. Boseman’s death at age 43 sent shockwaves through the world, with millions of fans mourning the loss of an icon.
For his Black Panther family, Boseman, who played the title character in the groundbreaking 2018 Marvel movie, was also a colleague and a friend. As the news of his death began to sink in, his Black Panther co-stars started posting tributes to the fallen hero.
Angela Bassett, who played Boseman’s mother in the movie, shared a touching story of her personal connection to Boseman. It goes back more than a decade before they starred together in Black Panther when she received an honorary degree from Howard University, and Boseman was the student assigned to escort her that day.
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“This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal,” Bassett wrote. “So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother.”
Bassett also posted a gallery of images of her and Boseman, both in character from the 2018 movie and from events, including the entire cast celebrating their ensemble SAG Award.
“I don’t have words. Rest in Piece, Bruh,” wrote Sterling K. Brown, who played Boseman’s uncle.
“Your legacy will live on forever,” Marvel Studios wrote in a note next to an image of Boseman as Black Panther.
The studio’s president/chief creative officer and Black Panther producer Kevin Feige penned a moving tribute to Boseman.
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” Feige said. “He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
Boseman’s death reverberated across the Marvel universe, with fellow Avengers mourning his loss.
“Absolutely heartbreaking,” Chris Hemsworth wrote next to a picture with Boseman. “One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met.”
Chris Evans also posted photos of him and Boseman. “I’m absolutely devastated,” he wrote. “Chadwick was special. A true original.”
Added Mark Ruffalo, “What a man, and what an immense talent.”
“Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself,” Brie Larson wrote next to a photo of her and Boseman.
Samuel L. Jackson called Boseman “a talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed.”
“THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us,” he wrote on Twitter. “We needed it & will always cherish it!”
Don Cheadle bid fond farewell to Boseman, with him he shared the screen as well as a birthday. “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god.”
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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