UPDATED throughout: On screen, Chadwick Boseman was an invincible superhero. In real life, he courageously fought a four-year battle against cancer and lost. Boseman’s death at age 43 sent shockwaves through the world, with millions of fans mourning the loss of an icon.
For his Black Panther family, Boseman, who played the title character in the groundbreaking 2018 Marvel movie, was also a colleague and a friend. As the news of his death began to sink in, his Black Panther co-stars started posting tributes to the fallen hero.
Danai Gurira, who co-starred as Okoye opposite Boseman’s T’Challa, posted an emotional tribute on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of the two of them sharing an embrace.
“Such a pure hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy…. A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation,” she wrote. “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.”
Angela Bassett, who played Boseman’s mother in the movie, shared a touching story of her personal connection to Boseman. It goes back more than a decade before they starred together in Black Panther when she received an honorary degree from Howard University, and Boseman was the student assigned to escort her that day.
“This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal,” Bassett wrote. “So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother.”
Bassett also posted a gallery of images of her and Boseman, both in character from the 2018 movie and from events, including the entire cast celebrating their ensemble SAG Award.
“I don’t have words. Rest in Piece, Bruh,” wrote Sterling K. Brown, who played Boseman’s uncle.
“Your legacy will live on forever,” Marvel Studios wrote in a note next to an image of Boseman as Black Panther.
The studio’s president/chief creative officer and Black Panther producer Kevin Feige penned a moving tribute to Boseman.
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” Feige said. “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.”
Boseman’s death reverberated across the Marvel universe, with fellow Avengers mourning his loss.
Iron Man star Downey Jr. led the tributes to the Black Panther star.
“Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life… That’s heroism,” Downey Jr. wrote on Instagram next to a video of him and Boseman sharing a laugh. “I’ll remember the good times, the laughter, and the way he changed the game.”
Fellow Avengers echoed his sentiment.
“Absolutely heartbreaking,” Chris Hemsworth wrote next to a picture with Boseman. “One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met.”
Chris Evans also posted photos of him and Boseman. “I’m absolutely devastated,” he wrote. “Chadwick was special. A true original.”
Added Mark Ruffalo, “What a man, and what an immense talent.”
“Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself,” Brie Larson wrote next to a photo of her and Boseman.
Samuel L. Jackson called Boseman “a talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed.”
“THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us,” he wrote on Twitter. “We needed it & will always cherish it!”
Don Cheadle bid fond farewell to Boseman, with him he shared the screen as well as a birthday. “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god.”
The Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo posted behind-the-scenes photos with Boseman, along with a heartfelt tribute. “Chadwick was an incredibly elegant man with great integrity and tremendous talent. He inspired an entire generation to stand up and be king…”
I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed. 🤜🏿🤛🏿 https://t.co/8rK4dWmorq
— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) August 29, 2020
All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us. We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed🙏🏿 RIP
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) August 29, 2020
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
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