In another shocking twist of 2020, news spread overnight of actor Chadwick Boseman’s death. He was just 43 years old.
The actors family released a statement via his personal Instagram page, notifying fans of his passing. To the surprise of many, they confirmed he lost his four year battle with stage four colon cancer. This means he filmed some of his greatest movies, press tours and award shows all while secretly attending chemotherapy treatments. Nobody would have ever been able to tell, proving he really was a real life hero on and off screen.
Ironically, the actor passed away on the make up date for Jackie Robinson Day, an anniversary celebrated by the MLB to celebrate baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who he portrayed in 2013’s “42.”
Boseman specifically rose to fame as Marvel’s Black Panther through the “Black Panther” movie and later in “Avengers: Infinity War”. He’s also highly recognized for his other movies including “21 Bridges,” and “Draft Day.”
In addition to public praise, the actor won numerous awards including an MTV movie & TV award for Best Hero and Best Performance in a Movie. He also won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.
As fans collectively mourn the loss of this trailblazing actor, we put together eight of his best moments:
1. Chadwick surprises fans on the Jimmy Fallon show showing his humility and appreciation for fans.
To me, this was one of the most touching moments I’ve ever seen. You could see the genuine admiration of the fans, and Chadwick’s reaction proved how humbled and grateful he was.
2. Chadwick hosting Saturday Night Live showing his sense of humor.
“Saturday Night Live” is one of the most iconic career moments for any celebrity. In fact, it’s almost like a verification sticker that they made it. Only the most elite stars have the opportunity to host, let alone so quickly after his films release. And in true Boseman fashion, he nailed every joke surrounding his personal and professional success.
3. Chadwick’s interview on “The Daily Show” about why representation in Black Panther is important.
His leading role was truly groundbreaking. As a young man who grew up with white superheroes, though, Chadwick knew the significance this role would have. Because he was so aware of what this meant for his community, he always spoke so passionately about this topic.
4. Chadwick returning to his alma mater of Howard University to give the 2018 commencement speech.
Again, this was one of the more powerful moments we had seen from Chadwick throughout his time in the spotlight. As a proud Howard University Alumnai, he always voiced the importance of education and the privilege to do so. This inspirational speech still brings tears to people’s eyes because Chadwick spoke so passionately about what truly mattered to him.
5. Chadwick showing his caring heart for others such as his appreciation for his coworkers such as Lupita Nyong’o.
The dynamic duo seemed very close in the media circuit leading towards the premiere of “Black Panther” and “Avengers: End Game.” But in clips like this you can see that they both had a genuine friendship and a respect for each other. They also had a very strong desire to create something special in unity, and that sort of chemistry is difficult to find in Hollywood.
6. Chadwick’s scene in “Da 5 Bloods” showing his extensive acting chops.
How can we not include some of his latest work? It’s just another reminder of how much he will be missed in Hollywood. He contributed to the African American community around the world.
7. Chadwick’s portrayal of Black Panther allowed for his famous Wakanda Forever salute to be featured across the world.
This was one of the biggest trends in the world when “Black Panther” premiered in 2018. From social media trends to The Oscars red carpet, everybody was doing “Wakanda Forever” in unison. The fact he was able to turn it into an international symbol is another level of power nobody ever imagined.
8. Chadwick’s constant appreciation and dedication for his role as Black Panther.
There’s no denying Chadwick appreciated playing the first black super hero, and he was never shy to express that gratitude. He understood the responsibility, played the role phenomenally, and executed every interview afterwards with pure grace and poise.
Re-watching these clips is just another reminder of how amazing of a person he was to be doing all of this while battling an intense form of cancer. The selflessness it must’ve took for him to give so much joy to the world while fighting for his life is truly unbelievable and speaks to his character. And we don’t even know him personally.
Overall, we will miss such a treasured human being and we appreciated all that he gave us as Black Panther and through his other roles. RIP to a beautiful soul and we all wish peace and healing for his friends, family, fans, and to the children who viewed him as their super hero.
Feature Image via Flikr