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In the wake of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman’s death from colon cancer on Friday, his Marvel co-stars paid tribute on social media to the beloved actor. Boseman died at 43 after a four-year struggle with the disease.
According to an official statement from the actor’s representatives, Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016. The actor died at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by his wife and other family members.
Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan wrote on Instagram on Monday, “Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever.”
Captain America star Chris Evans paid tribute to the Wakandan king, writing: “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.”
Robert Downey Jr. wrote on Twitter, “Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life… That’s heroism. I’ll remember the good times, the laughter, and the way he changed the game… “
“Chadwick was not only a deeply soulful and powerful actor, but he was such a kind, thoughtful, funny and gentle person,” wrote Scarlett Johansson in a statement obtained by THR. “He brightened every ones day every time he walked into our hair and makeup trailer or on set with his beautiful smile. My heart goes out to his wife and entire family for such an unimaginable loss. Our collective Marvel family is absolutely heartbroken.”
“Chadwick was such an elegant man with great integrity and tremendous talent,” wrote Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joseph Russo via their shared Twitter account. “He inspired an entire generation to stand up and be king. Honor him by emulating him-show kindness and love to others. Share your talents in ways that impact. Always strive to be a light in the darkness.”
Letitia Wright penned a video eulogy to Boseman on Instagram, speaking over images of the sun, “It is written. There is nothing new under the sun. But the sun stood still that morning, refusing to shine. Dark clouds surrounding, confusion setting in. Tears flowing, rivers so deep. I didn’t know this is what I was waking up to: my brother, an angel on earth, departed. A soul so beautiful, when you walked into the room, there was calm. You always moved with grace and ease. Every time I saw you, the world would be a better place.” The poem was spoken over calming imagery such as plants, the sky, flowers and water. Listen to the whole message here.
Angela Bassett, who portrayed Boseman’s mother in Black Panther, posted a tribute on Instagram: “It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother… ‘thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…’. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever”
Danai Gurira, who played Okoye, the general of the Dora Milaje in Black Panther, posted a message on Instagram: “How do you honor a king? Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate. I always marveled at how special Chadwick was. Such a pure-hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy. My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy. He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace. On many an occasion I would think how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with. A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.
He made everyone feel loved, heard and seen. He played great, iconic roles because he possessed inside of himself that connection to greatness to be able to so richly bring them to life. He had a heroic spirit, and marched to the beat of his own drum; hence his excellence as an artist and the incredible courage and determination as he faced life’s challenges; while still guiding us all.
He was zen and sweet and funny (with the very best laugh), attentive, and truly, truly, good. I can’t even wrap my mind around this loss. A loss resonating in my own heart as well as around the globe. The children he inspired, my heart aches for them, to lose their hero just as they finally found him. I am so thankful to have taken the Black Panther journey with him. To have known him, spent time in his light and leadership and to call him forever a friend. Lala Ngoxolo Kumkani.”
Sterling K. Brown, who played Prince N’Jobu in Black Panther, wrote of his costar’s passing: “I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed.”
Boseman’s fellow Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong’o posted a lengthy statement to Instagram 10 days after his death, beginning by saying that she was “struggling to think and speak about my friend, Chadwick Boseman, in the past tense. It doesn’t make sense. The news of his passing is a punch to my gut every morning. I am aware that we are all mortal, but you come across some people in life that possess an immortal energy, that seem like they have existed before, that are exactly where they are supposed to always be – here! … that seem ageless … Chadwick was one of those people.”
She continued, writing in part, “Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time. I didn’t know him for long but he had a profound effect on me in the time that I did. When we came together to make Black Panther, I remember being struck by his quiet, powerful presence. He had no airs about him, but there was a higher frequency that he seemed to operate from. You got the sense that he was fully present and also somehow fully aware of things in the distant future. As a result, I noticed that Chadwick never seemed rushed! He commanded his time with ease…and he put in the work with all of us.”
Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner/the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wrote of Boseman: “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.”
Tom Holland, the current star of the Spider-Man franchise, said Boseman was “even more of a hero off screen than on” adding that the actor was a “role model not only to me on set, but to millions of others around the world.”
Don Cheadle, who stars as Rhodey in multiple MCU films, tweeted a photo of himself with Boseman. “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me.” The tweet ended with the iconic Wakanda Forever message in emojis, and Cheadle adding “forever and ever.”
Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt expressed sympathy for Boseman’s family and loved ones, adding that “The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul.”
Guardians actress Zoe Saldana tweeted, “I’m gonna have to tell Cy, Bowie and Zen that T’Challa has passed. What other king can I tell them about now?”
Shang-Chi lead Simu Liu wrote he had “absolutely no words” after learning the shocking news of Boseman’s death, adding “Rest in power my brother.”
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi tweeted of Boseman’s passing, “Devastating news. We lost a great one. Takoto mai rā e Āriki.”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige called Boseman’s death “absolutely devastating” in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, adding, “He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He 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. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson tweeted, “It feels meaningful that we lost Chadwick Boseman on the same day as Emmet Till’s death is 1955 and MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963.”
Marvel exec Louis D’Esposito also shared a statement on social media about Boseman, writing: “We are crushed. Marvel has lost a true superhero and friend, but our hearts are heaviest for Chadwick’s family. Chadwick was a singular force whose King T’Challa showed the world the power of good and the meaning of loyalty and friendship. Wakanda forever, my friend.”
Aug. 29, 10:31 a.m.: Updated with social media tribute from the Russo Brothers.
Aug. 29, 11:20 a.m.: Updated with Robert Downey Jr.’s tweet.
Aug. 30, 6.10 p.m.: Updated with Danai Gurira’s Instagram post.
Aug. 31, 5:40 p.m.: Updated with Michael B. Jordan’s Instagram post.
Sept. 8, 8:34 a.m.: This story has been updated with Lupita Nyong’o’s Instagram post.
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