Stars from across the entertainment world have joined forces to pay tribute to comic book legend Stan Lee, who has died at the age of 95.
Marvel and The Walt Disney Company confirmed in a statement the sad news that Lee, who served as a writer, Editor-in-Chief and eventually publisher of Marvel Comics, had passed away.
“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
Iger’s sentiments were reflected by many of the actors who brought Marvel’s most famous characters to life on screen.
“There will never be another Stan Lee,” said Chris Evans, aka Captain America. “He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives.”
“Rest in Power, Uncle Stan,” Evans’ Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo wrote. “You let us be extra human… superhuman even,” the Hulk actor added.
“I owe it all to you,” Robert Downey Jr, aka Iron Man Tony Stark, wrote on Instagram.
Thor actor Chris Hemsworth shared a picture of Lee in the character’s helmet, sporting the Norse God’s hammer, Mjolnir. “Thank you for the incredible adventures your stories took all of us on,” he wrote.
Spider-Man star Tom Holland said the “father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy” and added that he was “indebted” to Lee.
Paul Bettany, who originally voiced Iron Man’s Jarvis before going on to play Avenger Vision, celebrated Lee’s life, which he said was “well live and lived to its fullest”.
They were joined by Black Panther stars Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett, who also shared their sadness at Lee’s passing on Twitter.
Guardians of The Galaxy’s Karen Gillan thanked the Marvel creative for his “genius”, sharing a picture she’d taken with him on set.
Josh Brolin, who plays Avengers villain Thanos, said that he had been “deeply affected by the humanity of his imagination, the understanding of reaching beyond our potential and the necessity of tapping into our immeasurable imaginations”.
Evangeline Lilly, aka The Wasp of Ant-Man and The Wasp fame, described Lee as a “master of living” and encouraged fans to break the internet in his honour.
“We’ve lost a creative genius,” wrote Hugh Jackman, who played X-Men character Wolverine for more than a decade.
Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds kept it short and sweet, sharing a snap of Lee with a simple “thanks for everything”.
“It was an honor to be a small part of his universe,” said Two Broke Girls actress Kat Dennings, who played Dr Jane Foster’s intern, Darcy Lewis, in Thor sequel The Dark World.
Kevin Feige, the current president of Marvel Studios, said that Lee’s “extraordinary legacy” would “outlive us all”.
Marvel’s rival, DC Comics, also paid tribute to Lee, who worked on several Just Imagine titles with them in the 2000s. “He changed the way we look at heroes and modern comics will always bear his indelible mark,” the company said.
Lee’s impact upon the wider sci-fi world is reflected in the countless tributes pouring in from stars of numerous franchises.
Star Trek’s George Takei said Lee’s stories will “live on and continue to ignite the imaginations of generations to come”.
And Star Wars actor Mark Hamill paid tribute to a man who he dubbed a “childhood idol”.
Actor and writer Seth Rogen thanked Lee for “making people who feel different realise they are special”.