Chadwick Boseman, the electric young actor who projected so much vitality as the star of such films as Black Panther, Get on Up and 42, died Friday. He was 43.
Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family by his side, his publicist, Nicki Fioravante, told the Associated Press.
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family revealed in a statement. He had never spoken publicly about his diagnosis.
“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 honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
His death comes amid a national reckoning with racial injustice and on Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day, in which every player in the big leagues wears the Brooklyn Dodger great’s uniform number one day a season. He portrayed Robinson in the Brian Helgeland-directed drama 42.
In such a short time, Boseman proved eerily adept at capturing the essence of great Americans, whether it be Robinson; soul icon James Brown in Get On Up (2014); or Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017), directed by Reginald Hudlin.