Celebrity tributes to 'Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman flood social media: 'What a gentle gifted soul'

Megan Johnson
·4 mins read
"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Aug. 28, was honored on social media. (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Aug. 28, was honored on social media. (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

News of Chadwick Boseman’s death on Friday has rippled through Hollywood and beyond. The actor, who was 43, starred in the 2018 blockbuster film Black Panther, in which he played King T’Challa. In addition to his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boseman was known for portraying Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get on Up.

Diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, Boseman continued to work as his disease progressed. In a public statement, his family explained that he filmed projects “during and between countless surgeries chemotherapy” and called Boseman a “true fighter.”

Boseman passed away at home with wife Taylor Simone Ledward by his side. The couple got engaged in October 2019, according to Page Six.

Boseman’s profound influence on the Hollywood industry was reflected in passionate social media tributes Saturday. On Facebook and Twitter, former president Barack Obama shared photos of him and Boseman. “Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson,” tweeted Obama. “You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.”

Angela Bassett, who portrayed Boseman’s mother in Black Panther, shared a touching statement on Instagram, reflecting on the time they met in 2000 when Boseman, then a student at Howard University, served as her escort at his graduation ceremony where she was a commencement speaker. “It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family,” wrote Bassett.

Bassett also shared a series of Instagram photos from the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where Black Panther won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Oprah Winfrey also honored Boseman on Twitter, calling him a “gentle gifted soul.”

Actor Josh Gad shared one of his last text messages from Boseman, reflecting the actor’s deep appreciation for life:

Gwyneth Paltrow, who starred with Boseman in Avengers: Endgame called him “strong, intelligent, graceful, self-possessed.”

Zoe Saldana, Bosemen’s Avengers co-star, said he was “one of the classiest men I have ever met in my life.”

Fellow Black Panther star Forest Whitaker honored Boseman by tweeting, “Your light brightened our days. It will continue to brighten our hearts and minds. Let the heavens be blessed as you illuminate the sky.”

Samuel L. Jackson thanked Boseman “for all you gave us,” and called the actor “a talented & giving artist & brother.”

And Ryan Reynolds spoke of Boseman’s death as a “brutal loss.”

Selma Blair pointed out Boseman’s “spectacular range,” calling him “grace and beauty embodied.”

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