The Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died after a four-year battle with colon cancer, 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 the information wasn’t publicly known.
The devastating news has left fans and the film world shattered. Get Out director Jordan Peele, said it was “a crushing blow”.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in the statement.
“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.”
Oseman came to fame playing real-life figures baseball great Jackie Robinson in 2013’s 42, and soul singer James Brown in 2014’s Get on Up.
Nevertheless, it will be as the titular Black Panther in the blockbuster 2018 film he will be forever remembered and missed.
Boseman stars as the ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology on earth.
As well as winning critical praise and taking more than $1.3 billion US dollars (£973m) at cinemas worldwide, the film was widely recognized as a cultural milestone for having a largely black cast and a black director, Ryan Coogler.
Chadwick Boseman said last year that the film had changed what it means to be “young, gifted and black”.
Black Panther was the first superhero film to get a nomination for best picture at the Oscars.
He also acted the same role in other Marvel films Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
A result was in the works and yet to come out in 2022, with Boseman set to return.
The news of his death stunned everyone as Boseman never spoke about his illness publicly.
However, fans started raising worries over his health this year due to recognizable weight loss.
Tributes have already started paying in for the star, including from actor and fellow Marvel star Mark Ruffalo.
Actor Dwayne Johnson tweeted: “Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family.”
Political people have also started paying their tributes, including Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
The hashtag #WakandaForever has also been trending.
Born in South Carolina as the son of a nurse and an upholstery entrepreneur, Boseman graduated from Howard University in Washington DC.
All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
Despite playing roles on television, it wasn’t until 2013 that he beat the big time in 42.
In 2018, Boseman went back to his university to speak at its graduation ceremony.
“Some of you here struggled against the university itself,” he said to the mostly minority ethnic audience.
“Many of you will leave Howard and enter systems and institutions that have a history of discrimination and marginalisation.”
“The fact that you have struggled with this university which you love is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world that you are entering.”
We lost a hero and you will be forever be in our hearts! Rest In Power Boseman.