Sad news quickly spread around the world about the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman, who had quietly been receiving treatment for Colon Cancer, which he was diagnosed with 4 years ago. A bevy of fellow actors, directors, producers, athletes and public figures have posted their condolences and thoughts about Boseman's untimely death. Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family by his side, his publicist, Nicki Fioravante, told the Associated Press.
Boseman, a native of Anderson, South Carolina, began his acting career by first writing his own play while in high school. He went on to college and graduated from Howard University with a degree in Directing. After college, Boseman moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he taught acting to kids at a Black research library in Harlem. In 2003 and 2004, he appeared on episodes of NBC’s "Third Watch" and "Law & Order".
In 2008, he moved to L.A. and landed a recurring role on the ABC Family drama "Lincoln Heights" as Nate, an Iraqi War veteran with PTSD and the son of an L.A. cop. In 2010, he played a U.S. Marine for a season in "Persons Unknown" at NBC. It was his performance as baseball icon Jackie Robinson in "42" co-starring Harrison Ford that brought him wider exposure, getting the attention of major movie studios.
After the release of "42", Boseman landed the role of music legend James Brown in the film "Get On Up", and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in "Marshall", further showcasing his talents and versatility as an actor. It was then that he was offered the role of a lifetime as King T'Challa aka The Black Panther, first appearing "Captain America: Civil War" which first introduced audiences to the iconic character he went on to play in his own stand-alone Marvel film, "Black Panther" and then "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: End Game". "Black Panther" went on to gross $1.34 billion globally, making it the first billion dollar film with a predominately Black cast with a Black Director, Ryan Coogler. "Wakanda Forever" became the chant shouted amongst millions of African-American kids, adults and other fans around the world.
In 2019 Boseman later re-teamed with the Russo brothers (producers of The Avengers & Black Panther) to produce his first film, "21 Bridges", a crime drama in which he also starred. The actor has completed filming on the Netflix drama "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom", based on a play from Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, also starring Viola Davis. He also starred on the Spike Lee Vietnam era film "Da 5 Bloods", which premiered on Netflix. Last summer, he was announced as the star of an action drama, Yasuke, to play an African samurai warrior. Black Panther fans will of course be wondering whether Boseman was able to complete the filming of "Black Panther 2", which will be released in 2022. Either way we all know that his impact and influence on modern cinema will never be forgotten.
This brief biography of his professional career reinforces the type of person Boseman seemed to be personally; thoughtful, humble, passionate and talented. We don't get to see many positive portrayals of Black characters in the film and TV business. Boseman was able to bring many of our heroes of African-American culture and history to life and offer audiences a way to view these heroes in an authentic way. He conveyed a coolness without boasting, both on-screen and in public. You have to truly admire someone who goes to work every day and says nothing about their battle to fight a deadly disease. While many of us are surprised to learn of how he died, there are those of us who can understand and appreciate why he kept his private life private. It speaks to Boseman's character in a business full of ego and obsession with attention.
As time passes, many young boys and girls of all races and ethnicities that loved Black Panther will come to further appreciate Boseman's contributions to the arts community and to the world. His presence will be missed by us all who have been inspired by his work and now his life on this earth.
The Premo family extends its condolences to his wife and family.
Rest In Peace and Power Mr. Boseman.