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Remembering Actor And ‘Superhero’ Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman attends the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Chadwick Boseman attends the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California.

Beloved actor Chadwick Boseman died on Aug. 28 after battling colon cancer for four years. He was 43.

Boseman is perhaps most famous for his portrayal of King T’Challa, in Marvel’s “ Black Panther,” but also played other notable roles, like Jackie Robinson in “42,” Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall,” James Brown in “Get On Up” and Norman in “Da 5 Bloods.”

Tributes from fellow actors, friends, industry insiders and fans poured in on social media.


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“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

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I’ll always remember watching Chadwick in 42. Barack and I were alone in the White House, on a weekend night with the girls away. I was so profoundly moved by the rawness and emotion in the barrier-breaking story. And not long after, when he came to meet with young people in the State Dining Room, I saw that Chadwick’s brilliance on screen was matched by a warmth and sincerity in person. There’s a reason he could play Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and King T’Challa with such captivating depth and honesty. He, too, knew what it meant to truly persevere. He, too, knew that real strength starts inside. And he, too, belongs right there with them as a hero—for Black kids and for all of our kids. There’s no better gift with which to grace our world. ❤️ Photo credit: @chuckkennedydc

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— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 29, 2020

Boseman rarely made his personal life public. Many were surprised by the news he was afflicted with cancer at all. According to his family, he was diagnosed in 2016, and yet still managed to complete several films in the midst of his treatment.

1A National Correspondent Sasha-Ann Simons talked with Academy and Emmy-award winning sound mixer Russell Williams about Boseman’s life and legacy.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

Sasha-Ann Simons