https 'Black Panther' Star Chadwick Boseman Dies of Cancer at 43 | Trending News

‘Black Panther’ Star Chadwick Boseman Dies of Cancer at 43


Chadwick Boseman, the actor who found fame as the star of the groundbreaking film “Black Panther” and who also portrayed pioneering Black figures such as Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, died on Friday. He was 43.

A statement posted on Mr. Boseman’s Instagram account said the actor learned in 2016 that he had Stage 3 colon cancer, which had progressed to Stage 4. It said he died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement said. “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.”

News of Mr. Boseman’s death elicited shock and grief among many prominent figures in the arts and civic life. Martin Luther King III, a human-rights activist and the eldest son of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said that the actor had “brought history to life on the silver screen” in his portrayals of Black leaders.

Wakanda was powered by a mystery metal, vibranium, and had evaded the historical traumas endured by much of the rest of Africa, freeing it from the ravages of colonialism and postcolonialism. The phrase “Wakanda forever” became a hashtag and rallying cry.

The statement on Mr. Boseman’s Instagram account said it was “the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”

Brian Helgeland, the writer and director of “42,” which gave Mr. Boseman his breakout role, said that Mr. Boseman reminded him of sturdy, self-assured icons of 1970s virility, like Gene Hackman and Clint Eastwood.

“It’s the way he carries himself, his stillness — you just have that feeling that you’re around a strong person,” Mr. Helgeland said. “There’s a scene in the movie where Robinson’s teammate, Pee Wee Reese, puts his arm around him as a kind of show of solidarity. But Chad flips it on its head. He plays it like, ‘I’m doing fine, I’m tough as nails, but go ahead and put your arm around me if it makes you feel better.’ I think that’s who Chad is as a person.”

Mr. Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, S.C., the youngest of three boys. His mother, Carolyn, was a nurse and his father, Leroy, worked for an agricultural conglomerate and had a side business as an upholsterer.

“I saw him work a lot of third shifts, a lot of night shifts,” Mr. Boseman told The New York Times last year. “Whenever I work a particularly hard week, I think of him.”

The show filmed in Los Angeles and afforded Mr. Boseman his first real taste of Hollywood.

“Before that, I had just wanted to be an artist in New York,” Mr. Boseman said. “I didn’t understand that coming to L.A. and trying to be a film actor was a completely different thing.”

Reggie Ugwu and Marie Fazio contributed reporting.



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