Following a 4-year long battle with colon cancer, actor Chadwick Boseman has tragically passed away at the age of 43. The news hit social media in the early hours of the morning on August 29, 2020, as his estate confirmed he had passed the day before, with his family by his side.
The death of the ‘Black Panther’ star comes as a shock to millions around the world, as Boseman had kept his struggles with cancer very private during his lifetime. News of Chadwick Boseman’s diagnosis was made public for the first time upon his passing, leaving fans shocked and heartbroken by the sudden news.
Since his diagnosis in 2016, Chadwick Boseman starred in 9 major releases, including momentous films such as ‘Black Panther’, ‘Marshall’ and the final 2 Avengers films; ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Endgame’.
Chadwick Boseman has played a significant role in promoting stories of black success and triumph, as he took on the roles of Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first ever African-American player in ‘42’, James Brown in ‘Get On Up’ and Thurgood Marshall, the United States Supreme Court’s first African-American justice in ‘Marshall’. Throughout his lifetime, Chadwick Boseman was committed to bringing important stories such as those of Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall to life, and he introduced those stories to millions around the world during his career and lifetime.
As committed as Boseman was to bringing life to stories of black success, in 2018, the actor found himself living his very own story of triumph, as he became Marvel’s Black Panther. Black Panther was an instant global success, receiving very high critical praise, and currently standing as the 12th highest-grossing film of all time. However, Black Panther would prove to be more than just a popular movie. Boseman, once again, was at the forefront of representation for the African-American community, becoming the first ethnically black Marvel superhero in what felt like a hugely important cultural shift. King T’Challa’s ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute became more than just a superhero’s call, but it became iconicised as a phrase that, to many around the world, represented a new dawn for diversity and representation in popular culture.
Whether he was taking on the role of Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, King T’Challa, or countless other characters, Chadwick Boseman always brought his roles to life, and his career was laden with important roles and stories that had an impact far beyond the world of cinema, and it is deeply unfortunate that he is no longer with us to hear our praises of him.
He may have been Black Panther on-screen, but in the wake of his passing, we remember Chadwick Boseman for who he really was; a real-life superhero.
Nicholas Murphy, Entertainment & Lifestyle editor