In Memory: Chadwick Boseman

Sadly, last night it was announced that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died after a four-year battling with colon cancer.

At only 43 years old, beloved actor Chadwick Boseman unfortunately passed away with many fellow actors paying tribute to him. He died at his Los Angeles home with his wife and family by his side. In celebration, we look back on his life and career.

Born on 29 November 1976, Boseman was raised in Anderson, South Carolina to parents Carolyn and Leroy Boseman – both of African American descent. Whilst in his junior year at Hanna High school, he wrote and staged his first play named Crossroads, a story about a fellow classmate that was shot and killed. It was apparent even from then this was a young talent beginning to emerge.

From Jackie Robinson to James Brown: In Get On Up, Chadwick Boseman Aces  Another Black Icon | GQ
Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Get On Up
Image Credit: GQ

After attending college at Howard University – located in Washington D.C – Boseman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. A teacher of his was American actress Phylicia Rashad (star of Creed), who later became his mentor. She helped to raise funds so Boseman and his classmates could attend the Oxford Mid-Summer programme of “British American Drama Academy”, located in London.

However, it was Chadwick’s dream to write and direct, but he studied acting so he could relate to actors. After returning to America, he later graduated from NYC’s Digital Film Academy.

In 2003, Chadwick acquired his first Television role in an episode of Third Watch. Later that same year, he was cast as Reggie Montgomery in All My Children, however producers were worried he portrayed racial stereotypes and his character was recast with Michael B. Jordan. Other early starring roles included Law & Order and ER.

Alongside his start in his acting career, Boseman continued his desire to write and one of his plays Deep Azure was nominated for a 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for “New Work”. In 2013, Chadwick finally got his first film role in 42 – a film about the baseball player Jackie Robinson, who Boseman played.

Before he was cast, Chadwick was seriously considering quitting acting as there were 25 other actors up for the same role. Luckily director Brian Helgeland appreciated his bravery and Boseman was cast after auditioning twice. Boseman went on to appear in other films, including Draft Day (2014) and Get on Up (2014) in which he played singer James Brown.

A few years later in 2016, Boseman was introduced to the Marvel world as T’Challa (better known as Black Panther) after appearing in Captain America: Civil War. Later in 2018, he was given the lead role in his own spin-off film – a part of a five-picture deal with Marvel – in Black Panther (2018). Chadwick then went on to appear in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Later in the same year as Endgame, Chadwick starred in 21 Bridges and his last appearance in film was Da 5 Bloods – directed by Spike Lee and released on 12 June 2020. He will appear posthumously in the upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Unfortunately, in 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer, which later developed in stage IV before the end of 2019. During his treatment, he continued to film for several films alongside fighting cancer. Much to our dismay, he lost that battle with cancer on 28 August 2020 after complications with the disease.

An official statement was later released on his social media accounts announcing the devastating news. Actors and others from across the world showed and continue to share their tributes to the young talent.

Millions of around the world will continue to mourn Chadwick Boseman for more time to come as another young talent has been taken from us. Wakanda forever.

By Katie Green

Feature image: GoodFon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *