Chadwick Aaron Boseman was an American actor and playwright. After studying directing at Howard University, he became prominent in theater, winning a Drama League Directing Fellowship and an acting AUDELCO, and being nominated for a Jeff Award as a playwright for Deep Azure.
He is known for his portrayal of T’Challa / Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2016 to 2019, particularly in Black Panther (2018), and for his starring roles as several pioneering Americans, Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.
Review: "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" offers up the pure pleasure of Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman at their best https://t.co/sKFOm5YmmE
— TIME (@TIME) January 4, 2021
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which eventually progressed to stage IV before 2020. He never spoke publicly about his cancer diagnosis, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, “only a handful of non-family members knew that Boseman was sick… with varying degrees of knowledge about the severity of his condition.” During treatment, involving multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, he continued to work and completed production for several films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey, and others. Boseman died at his home as a result of complications related to colon cancer on August 28, 2020, with his wife and family by his side.
Boseman died without a will, and his estate will be governed by California law with the representation of Ledward. A public memorial service was held on September 4, 2020, in Anderson, South Carolina, where the speakers included Boseman’s childhood pastor as well as Deanna Brown-Thomas, daughter of James Brown, whom Boseman portrayed in Get on Up. The city announced plans for creation of a permanent art memorial at the service. Despite reports Boseman was buried at Welfare Baptist Church cemetery in nearby Belton, South Carolina, the funeral home handling his services and the church pastor both denied this.