Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing the ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation well advanced in technology, has died of colon cancer at 43 on Friday, his family has said in a statement.
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” they wrote.
The award winning actor had been battling cancer, surprising news, as Boseman never discussed his diagnosis publicly. His publicist Nicki Fioravante confirmed the news Friday to USA TODAY.
The star died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, Fioravante told the Associated Press.
”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 honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.
Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’, a household name, was the first superhero film to get a nomination for best picture at the Oscars, raking over $1.3billion in box office. A sequel was in the works and due to come out in 2022, with Boseman set to return.
He had signed on to appear as Black Panther in a sequel. “I hope people will watch this movie and see the hero in themselves, he had said in an interview about T’Challa. 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,”
Born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina as the son of a nurse and an upholstery entrepreneur, Boseman graduated from Howard University in Washington DC. He landed his first ever television role in 2003, in an episode of American crime drama, Third Watch.
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