Chadwick Boseman Dead at 43: ‘Black Panther’ Star Battled Colon Cancer for 4 Years

Chadwick Boseman, best known for his leading role in Black Panther, died at age 43, his publicist confirmed to Us Weekly on Friday, August 28.

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“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the statement began. “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage IV. 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.” 

Chadwick Boseman Dead
Chadwick Boseman attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The statement continued: “He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”

Before becoming an actor, Boseman taught drama at the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. He moved to Los Angeles in 2008.

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August 28, the day the news broke, is also Jackie Robinson Day to celebrate the legendary player that Boseman portrayed in the 2013 movie, 42. He also famously portrayed James Brown in Get On Up and starred in other Avengers films including Captain America: Civil War in 2016, Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and Avengers: Endgame in 2019.

Sterling K. Brown, who starred alongside Boseman in Black Panther, was one of the first of his former costars to respond to the news. “I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh,” the This Is Us star tweeted on Friday. “Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed.”

stars as superheroes Chadwick Boseman
Film Frame/Marvel Studios 2018

In 2018, ahead of the release of Black Panther, the South Carolina native explained how this role was so different than his others.

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“You have to find what’s healthy for you and what’s healthy for the people around you. You have to know when to detox and when you don’t, when you talk to your family and when you don’t,” he told Us at the time. “This experience [in comparison to others] is more one where I was more able to deal with people. They just had to deal with listening to T’Challa. He’s more diplomatic, and he’s a person who considers family. So it was a great time to talk to everybody. …  I played this character not based upon the superhero aspects of him and things blowing up and fights and all of that, that he has a very human experience. This movie is about him being vulnerable. He can’t complete his arc without the vulnerability of the losses, without dealing with death. So in essence this entire movie about that, still, losing his father.”

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