Chadwick Boseman, an actor who embodied the legendary Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown on his way to becoming the face of the venerable Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe has died. He was 43.
The actor’s death was confirmed Friday by his representative who said the wide-ranging performer died after a bout with colon cancer.
Boseman 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.
The native of Anderson, S.C., played the Brooklyn Dodgers’ barrier-breaking star Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film “42,” and played James Brown a year later in “Get On Up.” His blockbuster role in “Black Panther” came in 2018.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in the statement. “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 had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis.
Boseman’s Hollywood peers came out in droves to share their condolences and issued their support for his family.
“This is a crushing blow,” tweeted Jordan Peele.
“This is Us” star Sterling K. Brown lamented, “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.”
Ice Cube wrote, “I’m floored by this news, Chadwick was one of the best and I really enjoyed watching him work. RIP.”
Marvel Entertainment wrote that Boseman’s “legacy will live forever.”
The actor’s death coincided with MLB’s annual commemoration of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier in 1947, after the usual April commemoration was delayed because of the coronavirus shutdown of the sport.
In a Twitter message Friday night, MLB wrote that Boseman’s performance as Robinson “will stand the test of time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.