Chadwick Boseman, who reigned onscreen as Marvel’s noble Black Panther, died at his Los Angeles home Friday of cancer at age 43, surrounded by his wife, singer Taylor Simone Ledward, and relatives.
Calling him “a true fighter,” Boseman’s family revealed the actor was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. He never made his diagnosis public, even after photos of the gaunt-looking actor appeared on social media.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” read his family’s statement, which was posted on his Twitter and Instagram. “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, who shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble for Black Panther, credited Denzel Washington for his start in acting; Washington paid for Boseman’s college tuition.