Chadwick Boseman who played the lead role as King T’Challa in the blockbuster film Black Panther has passed away at the age of 43.
Bosemans representative revealed in an instagram post on his account that he had been battling stage 3 cancer since his diagnosis of the disease in 2016.
Boseman never spoke publicly about his illness and had still managed to film several movies including ‘Marshall’, ’21 Bridges’ and ‘Avengers’, all while enduring surgeries and chemotherapy for his illness.
Part of a statement released by his publicist on his instagram page read:
“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.”
Boseman, who also played black American icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown throughout his career as an actor, died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press.
During an acceptance speech at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards in which the “Black Panther” film won best ensemble, Boseman got on the microphone and began to quote the late African American singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone, as he acknowledged the impact and rhetorically questioned the difference the film, whose director and cast is mostly black, had possibly made in Hollywood, to the advantage of blacks:
“To be young, gifted and black”. He continues saying, “We all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured, yet you are young gifted and black. We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day,” said Boseman. “ We knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world.. that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see. We knew that we had something that we wanted to give.”