Boseman died on Friday at his home in the Los Angeles area, surrounded by his wife and family. He was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, but never made the diagnosis public until now.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” his family said in a statement on Twitter. “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 and between 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.”
Boseman starred as baseball great Jackie Robinson in 42 and soul singer James Brown in Get on Up before taking on the title role in Marvel’s Black Panther, which became a smash hit and grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide. He went on to reprise the role of T’Challa in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. A Black Panther sequel was announced in July 2019 to be in development, with an eye on a May 2022 release date.
“He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend,” Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said in a statement. “He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages.”
On the TV side, Boseman recurred on the ABC Family drama Lincoln Heights as Nate, the Iraq war vet son of Russell Hornsby’s police office Eddie Sutton. He also co-starred in the NBC summer mystery Persons Unknown as one of the central seven strangers who woke up together in a strange town: Sergeant Graham McNair, a Marine, onetime mercenary and devout Muslim. His other TV credits include Fringe, Justified, Castle, ER, Law & Order and Third Watch.
Watch Boseman in a heartwarming Tonight Show segment, in which he surprised Black Panther fans: