Actor Chadwick Boseman Dead at 43

The actor had been fighting colon cancer

2019 American Music Awards - Press Room
Chadwick Boseman in 2019.
Sarah Morris/FilmMagic

Over the course of his career as an actor, Chadwick Boseman demonstrated a stunning range as an actor. He was at home playing historical figures like Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson; he was equally well-versed in the big-budget action spectacles of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where his role as Wakandan king T’Challa was instantly iconic. In what was to be his last performance released in his lifetime, Boseman took a supporting role in Spike Lee’s drama Da 5 Bloods, for which he drew rave reviews.

Tragically, Boseman died on Friday after a 4-year battle with colon cancer. The announcement came via his Twitter account, which noted that Boseman had spent the last 4 years undergoing “countless surgeries and chemotherapy” even as he continued to act in a number of projects.

The Atlantic‘s Jemele Hill concisely summarized Boseman’s filmography following his diagnosis. One role of his has yet to be released: the film adaptation of August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, in which Boseman co-stars with Viola Davis.

According to Variety‘s report, the onscreen version of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be released later this year.

Following a number of television appearances, Boseman’s career began its ascent when he starred as Jackie Robinson in the 2013 drama 42. He played another iconic figure, James Brown, the following year in Get on Up. His first performance as T’Challa (aka Black Panther) came in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War; in 2018, the Ryan Coogler-directed Black Panther became a critical and commercial smash hit, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

In a 2018 interview with Kevin Powell for GQ, Boseman spoke about the impact of Black Panther and his own work ethic. “I try to remove myself from the impact of the movie, because I have to get back to work,” Boseman said. “I can’t rest on my laurels.” And throughout his career, he never did.

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