Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman has died of colon cancer at 43, his family has said in a statement. The actor had been battling cancer for four years. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in the statement. “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 honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
The actor had been diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016. “He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side,” the statement said.
Chadwick Boseman became a household name after appearing as the Marvel superhero Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and then in director Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film, which went on to gross over $1.3 billion worldwide. He followed it up with two more appearances as the character in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. His most recent film appearance was in director Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, which released on Netflix earlier this year.
Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina. He got his first television role in 2003, in an episode of Third Watch. His first starring role came in the 2013 sports drama 42, in which he played the legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson. Boseman played another Black icon, judge Thurgood Marshall, in a 2017 biopic. He had signed on to appear as Black Panther in a sequel. “I hope people will watch this movie and see the hero in themselves. Even if it’s a white person who sees it, if they can see a Black character and identify with them, it changes a little bit about how our society is,” he had said in an interview about T’Challa.
Boseman’s last tweet came on August 12. He had congratulated Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris on her nomination.
“In power. Eternally in power,” Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins wrote on Twitter. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson also offered condolences. “Crushed. It’s hard not to despair right now,” he wrote.