As the news hit social media that Chadwick Boseman died at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, Hollywood is remembering the actor who became a household name when he starred in the title role of the Marvel superhero movie “Black Panther.”
Former President Barack Obama paid tribute to Boseman online noting that he saw noticed something special in the actor early in his career when he visited the White House after playing Jackie Robinson in “42.”
Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years. https://t.co/KazXV1e7l7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 29, 2020
Jordan Peele tweeted, “This is a crushing blow.”
This is a crushing blow.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) August 29, 2020
Fellow director Nia DaCosta wrote, “I’ll miss waiting to see what he does next. Rest in power.”
Boseman’s family announced on his Twitter on Friday night that he died with his wife and family by his side. Calling Boseman “a true fighter,” the family said he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and “battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.”
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of Marvel, in a statement. “He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. 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. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed Boseman’s debut in “Captain America: Civil War” and his appearances in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” remembered the Black Panther star.
“Chadwick was such an elegant man with great integrity and tremendous talent. He inspired an entire generation to stand up and be king. Honor him by emulating him — show kindness and love to others. Share your talents in ways that impact. Always strive to be a light in the darkness,” they said.
Chadwick was such an elegant man with great integrity and tremendous talent. He inspired an entire generation to stand up and be king. Honor him by emulating him-show kindness and love to others. Share your talents in ways that impact. Always strive to be a light in the darkness. pic.twitter.com/8XRpRejnf7
— Russo Brothers (@Russo_Brothers) August 29, 2020
Several other Marvel stars expressed their condolences on Twitter. Boseman’s “Black Panther” co-star Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri in the blockbuster, took to the platform on Sunday to say she was “hurting.”
this hurts. really hurts
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) August 30, 2020
Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, the leader of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje guards, wrote a lengthy statement on Twitter. “How do you honor a king? Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Nothing feels adequate. I always marveled at how special Chadwick was. Such a pure hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy. My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy.
“He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace. On many an occasion I would think how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with. A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation. He made everyone feel loved, heard and seen. He played great, iconic roles because he possessed inside of himself that connection to greatness to be able to so richly bring them to life. He had a heroic spirit, and marched to the beat of his own drum; hence his excellence as an artist and the incredible courage and determination as he faced life’s challenges; while still guiding us all.
“He was zen and funny (with the very best laugh), attentive and truly, truly good. I can’t even wrap my mind around this loss. A loss resonating in my own heart as well as around the globe. The children he inspired, my heart aches for them, to lose their hero just as they finally found him. I am so thankful to have taken the ‘Black Panther’ journey with him. To have known him, spent time in his light and leadership and to call him forever a friend,” she wrote, ending the statement with “Lala Ngoxolo Kumkani,” which means “Rest in peace, O king” in Xhosa.
— Danai Gurira (@DanaiGurira) August 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Don Cheadle wrote, “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god…”
— Don woke👏🏿y'all👏🏿a**👏🏿up Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
“Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr., shared a video of him and Boseman on Instagram, writing, “Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life…That’s heroism…I’ll remember the good times, the laughter, and the way he changed the game… #chadwickforever”
Tom Holland, who debuted as Spider-Man alongside Boseman’s first appearance in “Captain America: Civil War,” wrote a tribute on Instagram.
“Chadwick, you were even more of a hero off screen than on. A role model not only to me on set, but to millions of others around the world. You brought joy and happiness to so many and I’m proud to have been able to call you a friend,” he wrote.
“I have absolutely no words,” wrote Simu Liu, star of the upcoming “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” “Rest in power my brother.”
I have absolutely no words.
Rest in power my brother.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) August 29, 2020
Brie Larson said on Twitter, “I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten.”
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) August 29, 2020
“Chadwick was special,” wrote Chris Evans. “A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create.”
I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking.
Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King💙 pic.twitter.com/oBERXlw66Z
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 29, 2020
Angela Bassett, who played Boseman’s mother in “Black Panther,” shared a gallery of photos of the two, both in character and out, on Instagram.
“I’m gonna have to tell Cy, Bowie and Zen that T’Challa has passed,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Zoe Saldana said, referring to her children. “What other king can I tell them about now?”
I’m gonna have to tell Cy, Bowie and Zen that T’Challa has passed. What other king can I tell them about now? pic.twitter.com/AFEFxJOFd5
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) August 29, 2020
Another “Guardians” star, Chris Pratt, wrote, “My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent.”
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) August 29, 2020
“We are all heartbroken by the tragic loss of #chadwickboseman — an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met,” wrote former Walt Disney Studios CEO Bob Iger. “He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther; shattering myths and stereotypes.”
We are all heartbroken by the tragic loss of #chadwickboseman — an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met. He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther; shattering myths and stereotypes,
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) August 29, 2020
“Hard to hear about this. Rest in love, brother,” Dwayne Johnson wrote. “Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family.”
Hard to hear about this.
Rest in love, brother.
Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family. https://t.co/hNAWav7Cq8
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 29, 2020
“In power,” director Barry Jenkins wrote. “Eternally in power.”
Eternally in power
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) August 29, 2020
Political figures have also commented on Boseman death. Former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden wrote, “The true power of Chadwick Boseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes.”
The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 29, 2020
In a statement, Denzel Washington, a producer on the upcoming “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which will be Boseman’s final film, wrote, “He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist,who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman.”
“Chadwick…..no words to express my devastation of losing you,” Viola Davis, who stars with Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” tweeted. “Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity……..It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you.
Chadwick…..no words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity……..It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you….Rest well prince…May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you! 💛💛💛 pic.twitter.com/6abglPBOsh
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 29, 2020
Josh Gad, who co-starred with Boseman in 2017’s “Marshall,” shared a screengrab of one of the last texts he received from his costar, in which Boseman marveled at the beauty of a rainy day in Los Angeles.
“He knew how precious every moment was,” wrote Gad. “Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels.”
Breaking my twitter silence to share some beauty. This was one of my final texts from the brilliant & once-in-lifetime talent, @chadwickboseman – take this in & celebrate life. He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels. pic.twitter.com/Hj8Cb1IfZS
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 29, 2020
Harrison Ford, who co-starred with Boseman in “42,” said in a statement, “Chadwick Boseman was as compelling, powerful and truthful as the characters he chose to play. His intelligence, personal dignity and deep commitment inspired his colleagues and elevated the stories he told. He is as much a hero as any he played. He is loved and will be deeply missed.”
Thomas Tull, who produced “42,” wrote, “Chadwick was a force of nature full of abundant talent and strong spirit. Tonight all baseball teams are wearing 42 to honor Jackie Robinson, and today marks the anniversary of Dr. King’s iconic I Have a Dream speech. Chad was special, he played Jackie Robinson with respect and reverence for the legacy of a man who changed the world. Chad was kind and genuine, I will miss him dearly and I will never forget him. My heart goes out to his wife and family.”
The Jackie Robinson Foundation also honored the star, calling him a “dear friend.”
“Preparing for his starring role in ’42,’ he studied extensively and spent considerable time with Rachel Robinson. A consummate professional, he absorbed every story, every memory and every photo and film excerpt he could consume to help translate the soul of an American hero. And now, Chadwick will be etched in history as a hero in his own right, especially having shown millions of Black and Brown children the power of a superhero who looks like them,” the foundation said in a statement. “Chadwick — may you rest in peace eternally. Take your place among the greats.”
Charles D. King, founder and CEO of the production company Macro, thanked Boseman for the “vision of royalty” he gave to his two sons.
“Chadwick. Still processing the tremendous void left with your passing. The power of your performances and the images you seared on screen will resonate for generations. Thank you for the vision of royalty you gave to my two young kings, and to the entire world. Each time we met, I was struck by your humility, your character, your kindness and your commitment to your craft and uplifting our community. Rest in peace and power King. You are a gift to be forever treasured,” he said.
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Chadwick. Still processing the tremendous void left with your passing. The power of your performances and the images you seared on screen will resonate for generations. Thank you for the vision of royalty you gave to my two young kings, and to the entire world. Each time we met, I was struck by your humility, your character, your kindness and your commitment to your craft and uplifting our community. Rest in peace and power King. You are a gift to be forever treasured. #chadwickboseman
See more tributes to Boseman below.
Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/DyibBLoBxz
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) August 29, 2020
Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/C5xGkUi9oZ
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 29, 2020
Only Chadwick could embody Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and T’Challa. He, too, knew what it meant to persevere. To summon real strength. And he belongs right there with them as a hero—for Black kids and for all our kids. There’s no better gift to give our world. ❤ pic.twitter.com/t2tjZDMxNT
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 29, 2020
I’m floored by this news, Chadwick was one of the best and I really enjoyed watching him work. RIP https://t.co/N9HtKuuMIg
— Ice Cube (@icecube) August 29, 2020
Devastating news. We lost a great one. Takoto mai rā e Āriki. #chadwickboseman
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) August 29, 2020
What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like. https://t.co/U3OOnJVS42
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 29, 2020
Black Hollywood is small. Like a small village. When you think about it, there’s really a handful of us working actors, writers, HODs, crew, directors in a massive industry. One absence devastates. Chad loomed large among us. We will miss him, never forget him, love him – always. pic.twitter.com/yB3S9q8L40
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 29, 2020
May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so. pic.twitter.com/jdip3RHoXb
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 29, 2020
It was the highest honor getting to work with you and getting to know you. What a generous and sincere human being. You believed in the sacred nature of the work and gave your all. Much love to your family. And much love from all of us left here.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
My gosh… The strength he had to keep going. Rest in power Chadwick. A huge loss to everyone who was touched by his greatness. Forever will he be immortalised in his brilliant works ❤️ https://t.co/FKydtZDIU7
— Henry Golding (@henrygolding) August 29, 2020
I am absolutely stunned. He was so, so young. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends, those near and dear to him who loved and supported him throughout his brief time on earth. It’s so unfair.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) August 29, 2020
This man was diagnosed in 2016 and yet all of this powerful work!! I'm vibrating between immense joy for him and such sadness. But the sadness takes over. Condolences to his loved ones. He lives in the mythic. Incredible.
— Jeffrey Vote Out This Gameshow Clown Wright (@jfreewright) August 29, 2020
We love you, Chadwick. Your legacy will never die. #ripchadwickboseman
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) August 29, 2020
Deeply saddened by the news that #ChadwickBoseman has left us.
Phenomenal actor. Inspirational figure. Great man.
May he forever Rest In Power.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) August 29, 2020
Such a brutal loss. RIP, Chadwick.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 29, 2020
An immeasurable loss. From "Black Panther" to "Da 5 Bloods," Chadwick Boseman brought strength and light to the screen, every time. pic.twitter.com/vRXxYU8Tbr
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 29, 2020
Rest in Heaven 👑 https://t.co/3kDVUvdjEY
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 29, 2020
Heartbreaking. The loss of Chadwick Boseman life and light. The 4 year battle in secret. It’s all heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.
— Gabby Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) August 29, 2020
Chadwick was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, per reports. During that time, he gave us Civil War, Marshall, Black Panther, Infinity War, Endgame, 21 Bridges and Da 5 Bloods. Lord only knows what he was going through on a daily basis.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 29, 2020
Rest. Such gifts wrapped in dedication to our craft. May every man you portrayed celebrate your spirit as I do… as we all do. May your family be covered in your love.
— Kim Fields (@KimVFields) August 29, 2020
RIP Chadwick Boseman.
This is so unbelievable, sending love & light to your family 🙏🏾💔
— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) August 29, 2020
What an incredible loss.
Rest in Power, King. https://t.co/TXlndX3IxY
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) August 29, 2020
Rest In Peace, Chadwick. Gone way too soon. Talent beyond. pic.twitter.com/bsEYLts5Q4
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 29, 2020
RIP CHADWICK BOSEMAN…inspired a generation. #BlackPanther
May God Have Mercy On Your Soul & Condolences To Your Family, Friends & Fans.
— TAPE TAPE & HOUSE EP NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) August 29, 2020
— Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja) August 29, 2020