It is with great sadness that we at scifipulse report the passing away of Chadwick Aaron Boseman, who was best known to Marvel fans as King T’Challa/Black Panther. Boseman was aged 43 years at the time of his death and is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward. Born in 1976 to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman, the actor who has been called the lost prince of American cinema graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995 and also graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C. in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing. His first TV role was in an episode of Third Watch in 2003, and Boseman would go on to play roles in All My Children, Law and Order, CSI: NY, ER, Lincoln Heights and Persons Unknown.
Boseman’s first major film role was playing legendary baseball star Jackie Robinson, which was followed by roles as James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up as well as playing Thoth in 2016’s Gods of Egypt and a role in Draft Day opposite Kevin Costner also in 2014. It was the part of Black Panther however that catapulted Boseman to MCU stardom. First appearing as the character in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, the talented young actor would reprise the role in 2018’s Black Panther, portraying the king of the most technologically advanced nation on Earth, Wakanda. This film was one of the highest-grossing Marvel offerings of all time and a milestone for on-screen representation of people of colour. Boseman played the role of Black Panther with courage and a humanity that enabled audiences to identify with and root for him. He would go on to reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame as well as starring in 21 Bridges and Da 5 Bloods, released in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
In 2016 Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. It is a testament to the immense courage of this exceptional human being that he did not allow this to curtail his burgeoning career. Chadwick Boseman died on August 28, 2020 at his home surrounded by his wife and family. Many actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and beyond expressed their love for Boseman on social media, with Chris Hemsworth describing him as “One of the kindest most genuine people [he had] met.” Kevin Feige wrote “…[Chadwick Boseman] was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages.”
I personally did not follow Chadwick Boseman’s career, though his performance in Black Panther made the film immensely watchable. I found that Boseman had a charisma that made him very likable in whatever you saw him in, even if it was just a few seconds worth of film. Perhaps this actor’s greatest legacy is showing young black kids through his character of Black Panther that they can be the hero and save the world from evil. Even without his other memorable roles playing black icons Boseman will forever be the king of Wakanda and a trailblazer in the superhero world. Rest in power, sir.