Black Panther megastar dies, aged 43
Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman has died at 43 after a four-year fight with colon cancer.
A statement about his death was published on his Instagram page, saying the star died at home with his wife and family by his side.
Boseman had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis.
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It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 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. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. Photo Credit: @samjonespictures
Chadwick most famously was the first black Marvel superhero to headline his own movie in Black Panther and starred in a string of Avengers movies.
Recently he sparked concern among fans, appearing very thin in videos on social media.
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I am hearing stories of desperation from people all over the country, and we know our communities are suffering the most and urgently need help. Celebrating #JackieRobinsonDay with the launch of Thomas Tull’s #Operation42, a donation of 4.2 million dollars in personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals that service the African American Communities who have been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you, Jackie, for refusing to accept the world as it is, for showing us that we can make a difference.
Boseman played black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame in the Marvel franchise.
While his diagnosis was kept under wraps, the actor reportedly filmed movies between surgeries and chemotherapy.
He was slated to star in Black Panther 2 to be released in 2022.
#WakandaForever is already trending on Twitter as shocked fans react to the star's death and post tributes.
Wakanda is the fictional country located in sub-Saharan Africa, home to Black Panther.
Co-star Chris Hemsworth wrote that he would miss his friend.
"This is a crushing blow" actor and director Jordan Peele said on Twitter.
Marvel Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios tweeted: "Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman's family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace."
Many commented how Boseman was a real life superhero continuing to work while undergoing treatment.
His last posts to social media were on August 12 when he shared a photo with Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
Harris has tweeted that she is "heartbroken" over the news.
"Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference," she said.
BOSEMAN'S LAST FILM APPEARANCES
Boseman most recently appeared in the Spike Lee's Vietnam War drama Da 5 Bloods and this year he's due to appear opposite Viola Davis in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, a feature adaptation of the August Wilson play, directed by George C. Wolfe.
He posted in July a clip of actors using water pistols during a hot day of filming for Da 5 Bloods.
His dramatic weight loss was reportedly for that role.
When Black Panther premiered, to an emotional standing ovation for the cast, Boseman said he hoped people would watch the movie and see the hero in themselves.
"Even if it's a white person who sees it, if they can see a Black character and identify with them, it changes a little bit about how our society is," he said.