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Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing Black Panther and Jackie Robinson in the biopic 42, has passed away. The Marvel icon had been battling colon cancer for four years. He was just 43 years old and had so much left to give.

The tragic news was first reported by the Associated Press, Friday night. It has since been confirmed by Chadwick Boseman’s social media accounts. Here’s the tragic statement released on Twitter

Chadwick Boseman died with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante said in the report. His family released the following statement:

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

The news comes as a shock to the public since the actor had never spoken about his cancer diagnosis. His passing also just so happens to have happened on the same day the MLB was celebrating Jackie Robinson Day. Every baseball player wore a 42 on their uniform today in honor of the famed Brooklyn Dodgers icon, who became the first African American to be in the Major League. Chadwick took on the role in 2013, before embodying Marvel's most groundbreaking big-screen move since the MCU began.

Boseman first appeared as Black Panther, the leader of a fictional African nation Wakanda in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, before starring in his own solo film, Marvel’s first Best Picture nominee, Black Panther. The movie directed by Ryan Coogler went on to score a record-breaking $1.3 billion at the box office and become a cultural phenomenon that transcended the studio’s superhero formula. The actor told GQ the following last year concerning the larger-than-life status his role of Black Panther quickly became:

I try to remove myself from the impact of the movie, because I have to get back to work. I can’t rest on my laurels. At the same time, it’s a joy to see, even more so than this award, just the effect the film has on different people from various walks of life, no matter what race, gender or age. To be a part of something that has affected people in different countries, that is humbling, and liberating.

Chadwick Boseman finished work on his film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom last summer, a film adaptation of the August Wilson play, also starring Viola Davis and is expected to be released in 2020. He was gearing up to make his fifth big-screen appearance as T’Challa in Black Panther II, which was expected in summer of 2022. He had also signed on to play 16th Century warrior Yasuke in Yasuke.

Chadwick also starred in 2014’s Get On Up, where he portrayed James Brown and in 2017’s Marshall, he played the first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 2020, his movie with the legendary Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods hit Netflix to rave reviews. His acting achievements aside, Boseman produced a number of his films, along with writing and directing the 2008 short film Blood Over a Broken Pawn. He was an outspoken activist and collaborated with a number of philanthropies.

Here at CinemaBlend, we are in shock and heartbroken to hear the news of Chadwick Boseman. We forward our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Boseman family, as well as to all of his fans. The actor's influence positions him as a hero and icon across the globe and a gifted storyteller that will remain with us long after his career. Rest In Peace, King. We'll end on a quote said by T'Challa in Civil War:

Death is not the end. It's more of a stepping off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into a green veld where you can run forever.

Stay tuned on CinemaBlend for more coverage about the late Chadwick Boseman.

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