Hollywood expressed shock and grief over the sudden demise of actor Chadwick Boseman, remembering him for his legacy of work and leading cultural shift on the narrative.
Boseman’s death has come as a shock to colleagues and fans, because the actor had never publicly revealed his battle with colon cancer since 2016.
According to an official statement from the actor’s representatives, Boseman 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, reports variety.com.
“This is a crushing blow,” tweeted Jordan Peele.
Actress Viola Davis, who was set to star with Boseman in Ma Rainey’s “Black Bottom”, wrote: “Chadwick, no words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity. It was an honour working beside you, getting to know you. Rest well prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you.”
Boseman became a global star playing the titular superhero in the 2018 film, “Black Panther”. He also played the role in “Captain America: Civil War”, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”. His “Avengers” co-stars also paid tribute to the actor.
“Hulk” superhero Mark Ruffalo said: “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.”
“Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met,” Chris Hemsworth, who essayed Thor, wrote next to a picture with Boseman.
Don Cheadle, or War Machine in the “Avengers” films, wrote: “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god.”
Actress Brie Larson, or Captain Marvel, tweeted: “I’m honoured to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten.”
“Chadwick was special,” wrote “Captain America” star Chris Evans, adding: “A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create.”
Actress Angela Bassett, who played Boseman’s mother in “Black Panther”, shared a story of her personal connection to Boseman. It started more than a decade before they starred together in “Black Panther”, when she received an honourary degree from Howard University, and Boseman was the student assigned to escort her that day.
“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,” Bassett wrote.
“I don’t have words,” wrote Sterling K. Brown, who played Boseman’s uncle.
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of Marvel.
“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,” Feige added.
Actor Chris Pratt, who played Star-Lord, wrote: “My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent.”
Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson said: “Hard to hear about this. Rest in love, brother. Thank you for shining your light and sharing your talent with the world. My love and strength to your family.”
In a statement, veteran actor Denzel Washington, a producer on the upcoming “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, which will be Boseman’s final film, said: “He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman.”
Actor Josh Gad, who co-starred with Boseman in the 2017 film “Marshall”, shared a screenshot of one of the last texts he received from the late actor, where Boseman spoke about the beauty of a rainy day in Los Angeles.
“He knew how precious every moment was,” wrote Gad, adding: “Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels.”
Boseman’s last release was Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods”, which opened digitally on Netflix on June 12 this year amid lockdown.
Starting his career on television with shows like “Law & Order”, “CSI: NY” and “ER”, Boseman gained prominence with films where he played real-life figures, such as baseball great Jackie Robinson in ” 42″, and soul singer James Brown in “Get On Up”.
He is survived by his wife, singer Taylor Simone Ledward. –IANS/sug/vnc