Chadwick Boseman, 'Black Panther' and '42' star, dies of cancer at 43
Chadwick Boseman, the charismatic actor known for portraying barrier-breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson, music icon James Brown, and Marvel superhero T'Challa, a.k.a. Black Panther, has died of complications from colon cancer. He was 43.
Lee spoke about Boseman, who died Friday at age 43 after a four-year battle with cancer, at the start of his annual Brooklyn ♥ MJ block party for Michael Jackson's birthday. After dedicating a performance of Jackson's "Gone Too Soon" to the actor, Lee said, "We filmed Da 5 Bloods in Thailand, and it was hot, jungles, mountains, and Chadwick was there with us all the way. I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong....Chadwick, a trooper, never complained. He was there every single minute in the moment. And his performance is a testament to what he put into that role, and all his roles."
Boseman played the fallen soldier Stormin' Norman in Lee's Vietnam drama, which follows four of Norman's comrades as they return to the country to recover his remains and a cache of gold they buried there. Boseman appears in flashback and as a ghost in a powerful scene near the end of the film, which Lee shared on Instagram along with a deleted scene featuring Boseman singing Marvin Gaye's "God Is Love."
"That scene got me when we were shooting it. Watching that again this morning just tore me up," Lee said of the former scene. "Miss you, Chadwick."
Boseman filmed Da 5 Bloods, along with several other projects — including Black Panther — while undergoing treatment for colon cancer from 2016 onward. Lee's film is currently streaming on Netflix, which will also release what's believed to be Boseman's final film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, later this year.