The death of Chadwick Boseman has shocked his millions of fans around the world, as the actor had kept his four-year cancer battle private.
News of his passing broke in the early hours of this morning and tributes have been pouring in ever since, as people attempt to come to terms with the tragic loss.
Best known for his unforgettable role of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boseman had also acted in acclaimed biographical dramas 42, Get On Up and Marshall.
Most recently, he had a small but crucial role in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, telling the heart-wrenching story of a group of Vietnam War veterans, which landed on Netflix in June.
Many of his friends, co-stars and peers in Hollywood have taken to Twitter to express their grief.
Oprah Winfrey said: “What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like.”
What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like. https://t.co/U3OOnJVS42
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 29, 2020
A statement posted to Boseman’s Twitter page revealed that he had continued working through his “countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”
Kamala Harris, Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States, described him as “brilliant, kind, learned, and humble,” sharing a photo of them together.
Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/C5xGkUi9oZ
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 29, 2020
Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay posted a poignant frame from 2018’s Black Panther movie, in which T’Challa is transported to the ancestral plane to speak with his late father.
May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so. pic.twitter.com/jdip3RHoXb
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 29, 2020
Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer condemned news reports of Boseman’s weight loss and the rampant speculation they had stirred up.
“I remember reading things people were saying about Chadwick’s dramatic weight loss without ever considering his circumstances,” she said.
“Now, my heart is breaking because a young and vital talent has ascended, and I pray he never felt the withering assault of public scrutiny.”
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I have to say this because it’s on my heart. We all must do and be better about how we discuss people aesthetically. I remember reading things people were saying about Chadwick’s dramatic weight loss without ever considering his circumstances. Now, my heart is breaking because a young and vital talent has ascended, and I pray he never felt the withering assault of public scrutiny. I pray that his family knows just how beloved he is. That he was always a perfect gentleman with strong convictions. Always gracious. Graceful. Many of us are inconsolable right now; but I’ve put my mother on the case. I’ve prayed and asked her to show him around heaven and to look in on us every once in a while!! ????????????????????????????????????????
Boseman’s co-stars in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been devastated by the news, with Captain America actor Chris Evans describing it as “beyond heartbreaking.”
I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking.
Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King???? pic.twitter.com/oBERXlw66Z
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 29, 2020
Mark Ruffalo said that Boseman was one of the “all time greats” and that his “greatness was only beginning.”
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
Don Cheadle, who shared a birthday with Boseman, said that he was “always light and love to me.”
— Don "bruh, you lost" Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
Chris Hemsworth added in an Instagram post that Boseman was “one of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met,” and sent love to his family at this awful time.