Chadwick Boseman, the King T’Challa of the commercial and critical success that was “Black Panther,” passed away today. He lost his battle with colon cancer.
According to a statement on the actor’s social media pages, he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016.
While the 43-year old fought for his life the last four years—before the cancer progressed to stage IV—he was also making movies. The films “Marshall,” “Da 5 Bloods,” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” among others, were completed in between surgeries and chemotherapy. Through it all, the actor never publicly spoke about what he was going through.
Before he played Black Panther and became a global superstar, he has essayed roles that included Jackie Robinson (“42”) and James Brown (“Get on Up”), two great icons in African-American history. According to Yahoo Sports, “Boseman’s death came on the same day MLB [Major League Baseball] celebrated Jackie Robinson Day in honor of the color barrier-breaking Brooklyn Dodgers star, with every player wearing Robinson’s No. 42.”
The statement on Boseman’s death says the actor died surrounded by those closest to him, his wife and family among them. He died in Los Angeles, according to his publicist Nicki Fioravante.