'Black Panther' Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Of Cancer

Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before gaining success as the imperial Black Panther in the Marvel film universe, died of cancer on Friday, his representative said, reports AP.

Boseman, 43, died at his home in Los Angeles with his relatives by his side, the publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press.

Boseman was diagnosed with cancer of the colon four years earlier, his family said in a statement.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said.

“From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more - all were 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."

Boseman had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis.

Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and played a minor part in television until his first star change in 2013. His compelling depiction of the stoic baseball hero Robinson in front of Harrison Ford in the 2013 '42 's brought notice to Hollywood and made him a celebrity.

Boseman died on a day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson day.

“This is a crushing blow” actor and director Jordan Peele said on Twitter, one of many expressing shock as the news spread across social media.

“This broke me,” said actor and writer Issa Rae.

His T’Challa character was first introduced to the blockbuster Marvel movies in 2016′s “Captain America: Civil War,” and his “Wakanda Forever” salute reverberated around the world after the release of “Black Panther” two years ago.

The character was last seen standing alone in a black suit at Tony Stark's funeral last year's "Avengers: Endgame."

And at the beginning of his Hollywood career, Boseman remained clear-eyed — and also skeptical — of the world in which he would become an international celebrity.

“You don’t have the same exact experience as a Black actor as you do as a white actor. You don’t have the same opportunities. That’s evident and true,” he told AP while promoting “42.” “The best way to put it is: How often do you see a movie about a black hero who has a love story — with a black woman or any woman for that matter ... he has a spirituality. He has an intellect. It’s weird to say it, but it doesn’t happen that often.”

In addition to Robinson and Blue, Boseman has represented the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in "Marshall" 2017.

He took his first production job in last year's "21 Bridges" drama, in which he also acted, and was last seen on-screen in Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods" movie as the commander of a party of Black soldiers in the Vietnam War.

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