Chadwick Boseman, who starred in the groundbreaking film “Black Panther” and played Black icons such as Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown, passed away from colon cancer on Aug. 28 at the age of 43. Those who knew Boseman remember him as a man of faith and integrity who was true to his values throughout his career.
“I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before,” said “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler in a tribute to Boseman on the Marvel website. “It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take. It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange. He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic. He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer.”
An announcement about Boseman’s death was posted to the actor’s social media accounts:
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 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 (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
Boseman is survived by his wife and one parent. He has no children.
The Legacy of Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, and went on to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing. The City of Anderson held a public memorial for Boseman Thursday, and city spokeswoman Beth Batson told ABC 4 News that the people of Boseman’s hometown feel “deep sadness and grief” at the actor’s passing.
Boseman was active in his local congregation during his youth, said Samuel Neely, the retired pastor of Welfare Baptist Church. In a 2018 interview shortly before the release of “Black Panther,” Neely said he had baptized Boseman and had known him since the actor was born. Boseman “did a lot of positive things within the church and within the community,” said the pastor. “With him singing in the choir, with him working the youth group, he always was doing something, always helping out, always serving. That was his personality.”
It is with extreme sorrow that we mourn the death of our beloved Chadwick Boseman, who transitioned this evening. This untimely loss deeply saddens our church. The Welfare Baptist Church will forever remember Chadwick as a homegrown talented young man who rose to superstardom and made us proud! As we mourn his death and grieve alongside his family, we ask that you keep the Boseman and Welfare Church family in your thoughts and prayers! Rest well, Black Panther; REST WELL!
FaithIt’s article about Boseman’s passing observes, “Chadwick was certainly not shy about sharing his faith and giving credit to God for his successes.” After being cast in the role of T’Challa, the actor said that getting the part was an answer to prayer. Prior to that, in an interview with Risen Magazine where Boseman talked about playing Jackie Robinson, he pointed out, “One of the fruits of the [Holy] Spirit is self-control.” The actor said he believed that Robinson’s reliance on his faith supported him throughout his life. “He had to have all of [the fruit],” said Boseman, “patience, love, gentleness, brotherly kindness, charity — but the self-control comes from going through the fire. I feel like it’s because he had God in him that he was able to make it through this.”