Image courtesy of Greenwich Time
By Noelia Veras
Chadwick Boseman, a hero both on and off the screen, died August 28. The actor was 43 and died of stage IV colon cancer.
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years ago, although he did not talk about it publicly. He died in his Los Angeles home with his family by his side.
Boseman has been an influential figure in society. The actor has been a part of films that have shifted and transformed the film industry. Boseman played iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson in the film 42, as well as one of the most unforgettable heroes in the entire Marvel franchise, King T’Challa, in the film Black Panther.
“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,” his family said in a statement. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Several prominent figures in Hollywood that worked alongside Boseman have expressed their grief in the wake of Boseman’s death. Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther, shared a tribute honoring Boseman’s life and his incredible talent. He even shares that during the entirety of their friendship, he had no idea that Boseman was suffering from cancer.
“Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity, and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering,” Coogler said. “He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”
Fans everywhere have mourned the devastating loss of Boseman. This abrupt news has caused millions of people on Twitter to talk about Boseman’s death and his incredible influence; his name has been trending for several days. Twitter’s official account even addressed the record-breaking Tweet published by Boseman’s account which was the initial announcement of the actor’s untimely death.
“Most liked tweet ever. A tribute fit for a King. #WakandaForever,” said the Tweet.
Denzel Washington, who according to CNN once paid for Boseman’s tuition, mourned the loss of the actor in a tribute.
“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,” Washington said in his statement. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”
Entertainment Tonight reported that Boseman’s Black Panther co-stars Michael B. Jordan has been “struggling” and is “beyond sad” about Boseman’s death. Jordan posted a heartfelt message on his Instagram, memorializing his co-star.
“One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked, and now the truth of that means more to me than ever,” said Jordan.
Coogler ends his tribute with heavy words and perhaps the most adequate way to come to terms with this tragedy.
“In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors,” Coogler said. “It is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”