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Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o and More Pay Tribute to Chadwick Boseman One Year After His Death

Chadwick Boseman at arrivals for Marvel Studios BLACK PANTHER Premiere, The Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, CA January 29, 2018. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection
Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

On the one-year anniversary of Chadwick Boseman’s death, several of his friends, collaborators and admirers took to social media to honor him and his work. 

Boseman, famous for playing the titular role in Marvel’s “Black Panther” among many other films, died of colon cancer at age 43 on Aug. 28, 2020. His passing came as a shock to almost everyone — he had been diagnosed in 2016, but kept his illness private and continued to work. Only his family and a small group of others were aware as he underwent surgeries and chemotherapy; despite the physically demanding nature of many of his last roles, even Ryan Coogler (director of “Black Panther”) and Spike Lee (director of “Da 5 Bloods”) have said publicly that they were completely surprised by the news.

Lupita Nyong’o, who played Nakia opposite Boseman in “Black Panther,” reflected on Boseman’s silent presence as well as his laughter, sharing a photo of the two of them on Twitter. “I did not know that I could miss both his laughter and his silence in equal measure,” Nyong’o wrote. “I do. I do… One year after his passing, the memory of @chadwickboseman remains this alive in me.”

Jane Lynch added to Nyong’o’s post, saying that Boseman’s sudden death still “boggles the mind.”

Michael B. Jordan, another “Black Panther” co-star, said he knows Boseman is “still with us.”

Viola Davis played Ma Rainey in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which was Boseman’s last film. Davis shared a photo from the film on Instagram, writing: “This day last year you left this earth and us. Man you are missed!!!”

Josh Gad re-shared his tweet from the day of Boseman’s death last year, which included screenshots of text messages Boseman had sent Gad. “Not a day goes by one year later, where it doesn’t still hurt,” Gad wrote. “But in the darkness, he always reminds us of the light. He was an angel on this planet and is now a Saint on high. Love and miss you more than ever… forever.”

Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in several Marvel films, tweeted a photo of Boseman noting how quickly the year since his death has gone by.

Kerry Washington thanked Boseman for “watching over us.”

The Marvel Studios Twitter account also posted a tribute, calling Boseman “our King.”

Kode Abdo, the graphic artist behind several Marvel films’ official posters who is better known as Bosslogic, said that it “hurt” to hear Boseman’s voice in Marvel’s new animated series “What If?”


The SportsCenter Twitter account highlighted Boseman’s performance as baseball player Jackie Robinson in the biopic “42” and posted photos of different athletes performing the “Wakanda Forever” salute from “Black Panther” and one wearing a “Black Panther” mask.

Quentin James, founder of The Collective PAC, which focuses on getting Black candidates elected to public office, shared an Instagram post honoring Boseman and their shared South Carolinian backgrounds.

See more tributes below.