The actor best known for playing T’Challa in the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther died Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a four-year battle with colon cancer, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account. Boseman had undergone "countless surgeries and chemotherapy" over the past four years, the statement said. Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42, died on Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day. He also played other African-American icons, such as the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall and soul singer James Brown in Get on Up. Boseman had recently starred in the acclaimed Spike Lee movie Da 5 Bloods. Before becoming a movie star, Boseman starred in Mission Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie's short-lived NBC psychological thriller Persons Unknown in summer 2010 as one of the central seven strangers who woke up together in a strange town: Sergeant Graham McNair, a Marine, onetime mercenary and devout Muslim. He also starred in ABC Family's Lincoln Heights from 2008 to 2009, playing Nate, the Iraq war vet son of Russell Hornsby’s police office Eddie Sutton. Boseman had numerous guest TV roles on ER, Cold Case, Lie to Me, Justified, Fringe, CSI: NY, All My Children and Law & Order. Boseman's Black Panther fame led him to host Saturday Night Live in April 2018, where he starred in the viral "Black Jeopardy" sketch. In February 2018, with the help of Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, Boseman got to surprise Black Panther fans while they spoke about what the movie means to them. Boseman graduated from Howard University, where he took an acting class from The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad, who got her friend Denzel Washington to pay for him to attend an elite theater program at the University of Oxford. Boseman's final tweet two weeks ago celebrated the news that fellow Howard grad Kamala Harris had been selected as Joe Biden's vice president. "Heartbroken," Harris tweeted of Boseman's death. "My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family." In a 2019 New York Times profile of Boseman, Reggie Ugwu wrote of the actor: "Remarkably, Boseman has come this far despite a relatively late start (he led a studio film for the first time at 35) and while remaining noticeably untouched by the tabloid drama, or whiff of overexposure, that can engulf even seasoned celebrities. In a pop taxonomy of black male nobility, he is cut squarely from the mold of Barack Obama — generally cool-blooded, affable, devoted to unglamorous fundamentals — a figure whom he is doubtlessly on a shortlist to portray in an inevitable epic. Boseman told me his method of humanizing superhumans begins with searching their pasts. He’s looking for gestational wounds, personal failures, private fears — fissures where the molten ore of experience might harden into steel." ALSO: Oprah Winfrey, Joe Biden, Don Cheadle, Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Lena Waithe, Jordan Peele and more pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman.
TOPICS: Chadwick Boseman, Lincoln Heights, Persons Unknown, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Christopher McQuarrie, Denzel Washington, Kamala Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Black Panther, Marvel, Obits