Acclaimed actor Chadwick Boseman has died aged 43, after a secret battle with colon cancer.
The star broke out in a series of biographical dramas, portraying American baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42, iconic musician James Brown in Get On Up, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s Marshall.
He is likely best known for his performance as the Marvel superhero Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, the king of a fictional African nation called Wakanda and a member of the Avengers team.
Boseman played the character across four outings, debuting in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and going on to star in a solo Black Panther film and two Avengers crossovers.
Black Panther made history as the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, as well as grossing well over $1 billion at the global box office.
This year, Boseman had a pivotal role in Spike Lee’s latest feature Da 5 Bloods, which told the story of a group of Vietnam War veterans and their fallen leader.
A statement posted to his Twitter page reveals that the actor had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which had since progressed to stage IV.
He kept his battle private and continued working throughout his treatment, a remarkable display of strength and commitment to his craft.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement reads.
“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.
“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
There has been an outpouring of tributes to Boseman since news of his passing broke, as his many fans and peers in the industry come to terms with such a devastating loss.