The actor, famous for his portrayal of Black Panther/King T’Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with a variety of black icons, passed away due to colon cancer, which he has been battling for the previous four years.
According to a statement posted to his verified Twitter account, the beloved actor died in his Los Angeles home with his wife and family by his side.
In the statement, Boseman’s family noted how he “persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.” The statement later pointed out that the various films over the years, from the Marvel movies to this year’s Da 5 Bloods, were all filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Born in 1976, Boseman would go on to write his first play, Crossroads, as a high school junior. At Howard University, he pursued a degree in acting, and later became the student and mentee to Cosby Show actor Phylicia Rashad. His first acting gig would be an episode of the 2003 series Third Watch, and later he would go on to guest star in episodes of CSI: NY, Law & Order, and ER.
His first feature film role would be as Syracuse football player Ernie Davis in the 2008 movie The Express. This would lead to him playing several black icons, from Jackie Robinson in 42 (today is also known as Jackie Robinson Day) to James Brown in Get on Up.
Boseman would later join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, later returning to the role two years later in Black Panther. To date, it is one of the highest grossing solo MCU films and the only film in the entire franchise to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Beyond obviously returning as T’Challa in 2022’s Black Panther II, Boseman was to play a version of his character in the upcoming series What If…?, where he would’ve also been Star-Lord. Outside of the MCU, Boseman’s next role was to play the African samurai Yasuke.