According to a new report published earlier today by The Associated Press, the actor, best known for his leading role as T’Challa in the Marvel Studios franchise, has died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
He died at home in Los Angeles with his wife and family by his side, a statement posted on social media said. Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago but had not made the information public.
The news was confirmed by Boseman’s team in a statement posted to the actor’s social media accounts Friday night. “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the statement reads. “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progresses to stage IV.”
The statement adds, “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.”
Boseman got his start in acting as a high school junior in Anderson, South Carolina. After writing and performing his own play Crossroads, he went to Howard University to study directing. Eventually, Boseman moved to Brooklyn and landed bit parts on Law & Order, CSI: NY, and Cold Case before securing his big break playing Robinson in 2013’s 42.
In the last five years, Boseman transformed into one of Hollywood’s rare leading black men and didn’t shy away from the responsibility of that distinction. “It’s a sea-change moment,” Boseman told Rolling Stone in a 2018 cover story. “I still remember the excitement people had seeing Malcolm X. And this is greater, because it includes other people, too. Everybody comes to see the Marvel movie.”
Denzel Washington, who played Malcolm X and helped finance a fledgling Boseman’s trip to a prestigious summer acting program at Oxford, said, “He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman.”