|A.K.A.||Chadwick Aaron Boseman|
|Was||Screenwriter Actor Writer Playwright Film actor Television actor Film producer Voice actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature|
|Birth||29 November 1976, Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina, USA|
|Death||28 August 2020, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 43 years)|
Chadwick Aaron Boseman (November 29, 1976 – August 28, 2020) was an American actor. His roles included important and iconic African-American historical figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017). His role as the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019) made him an international star. He won a NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in Black Panther.
Boseman's other film roles included 21 Bridges (2019) and Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods (2020). His final film will be the film adaptation of August Wilson's play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom also starring Viola Davis, which will be released on Netflix. He died on August 28, 2020 after privately dealing with colon cancer for four years.
Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman, both African-American. According to Boseman, DNA testing indicated that his ancestors were Krio people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba people from Nigeria and Limba people from Sierra Leone. His mother was a nurse and his father worked at a textile factory, managing an upholstery business as well. Boseman graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995. In his junior year, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed.
Boseman attended college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. One of his teachers was Phylicia Rashad, who became a mentor. She helped raise funds, notably from her friend and prominent actor Denzel Washington so that Boseman and some classmates could attend the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London, to which they had been accepted.
Boseman wanted to write and direct, and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors. After he returned to the U.S., he graduated from New York City's Digital Film Academy.
He lived in Brooklyn at the start of his career. Boseman worked as the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. In 2008, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
Boseman got his first television role in 2003, in an episode of Third Watch. That same year, Boseman portrayed Reggie Montgomery in the daytime soap opera All My Children, but stated that he was fired after voicing concerns to producers about racist stereotypes in the script; the role was subsequently re-cast, with Boseman's future Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan assuming the role. His early work included episodes of the series Law & Order, CSI:NY, and ER. He also continued to write plays, with his script for Deep Azure performed at the Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago; it was nominated for a 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work. In 2008, he played a recurring role on the television series Lincoln Heights and appeared in his first feature film, The Express: The Ernie Davis Story. He landed a regular role in 2010 in another television series, Persons Unknown.
Boseman had his first starring role in the 2013 film 42, in which he portrayed baseball pioneer and star Jackie Robinson. He had been directing an off-Broadway play in East Village when he auditioned for the role, and was considering giving up acting and pursuing directing full-time at the time. About 25 other actors had been seriously considered for the role, but director Brian Helgeland liked Boseman's bravery and cast him after he had auditioned twice. In 2013, Boseman also starred in the indie film The Kill Hole, which was released in theaters a few weeks before the film 42.
In 2014, Boseman appeared opposite Kevin Costner in Draft Day, in which he played an NFL draft prospect. Later that year, he starred as James Brown in Get on Up. In 2016, he starred as Thoth, a deity from Egyptian mythology, in Gods of Egypt.
In 2016, he started portraying the Marvel Comics character T'Challa / Black Panther, with Captain America: Civil War being his first film in a five-picture deal with Marvel. He headlined Black Panther in 2018, which focused on his character and his home country of Wakanda in Africa. The film opened to great anticipation, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year in the United States. He reprised the role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which were released in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Both films were the highest grossing of the year they were released, with Endgame going on to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Also in 2019, he starred in 21 Bridges, an American action thriller film directed by Brian Kirk, as an NYPD detective who shuts down the eponymous 21 bridges of Manhattan to find two suspected cop killers.
In 2019, it was announced that Boseman was cast in the Netflix war drama film Da 5 Bloods, directed by Spike Lee. The film was released on June 12, 2020.
According to film critic, Owen Gleiberman in Variety, "Boseman was a virtuoso actor who had the rare ability to create a character from the outside in and the inside out. . . Boseman knew how to fuse with a role, etching it in three dimensions. . . That's what made him an artist, and a movie star, too. Yet in Black Panther, he also became that rare thing, a culture hero. . ." The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw wrote of the actor's "beauty, his grace, his style, his presence. . .These made up Chadwick Boseman's persona . . . loved among many things for his lightly worn imperiousness, humour and charm . . . Boseman becomes the lost prince of American cinema. . . glorious and inspirational. . ."
Boseman was raised a Christian and was baptized. He was part of a church choir and youth group and his former pastor said that he still kept his faith. Boseman had stated that he prayed to be the Black Panther before he was cast as the titular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He was a vegetarian.
After several years of dating, Boseman became engaged to singer Taylor Simone Ledward in October 2019, and they later married in the same year.
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which eventually progressed to a stage IV before 2020. He had not spoken publicly about his cancer diagnosis. During treatment (multiple surgeries and chemotherapy), he continued to work and completed filming for several films, including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and others. Boseman died at his home of complications related to colon cancer on August 28, 2020, with his wife and family by his side.
Many fellow actors and celebrities paid tribute to Boseman via social media following the announcement of his death, including a number of his co-stars from Black Panther and the Avengers series. Angela Bassett shared the story of their first encounter, writing that while he was attending Howard University, he escorted her to receive her honorary degree from the school. She added, "This young man's dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal...All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince." Sterling K. Brown wrote, "I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here." Don Cheadle wrote on his social media, "I will miss you, birthday brother. You were always light and love to me." Chris Pratt expressed his prayers for Boseman's family and loved ones. Mark Ruffalo said in a statement, "It was the highest honor getting to work with you and getting to know you. What a generous and sincere human being. You believed in the sacred nature of the work and gave your all." Zoe Saldana described him as a "king". Brie Larson called Boseman "someone who radiated power and peace" and "stood for so much more than himself". Chris Evans posted a message sharing that he was "absolutely devastated", calling Boseman a "true original". Chris Hemsworth called his death "absolutely heartbreaking", adding, that Boseman was "One of the kindest most genuine people [he had] met". Marvel Studios president and CCO Kevin Feige similarly called Boseman's death "absolutely devastating", writing, "Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible...He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages."
Co-stars from Boseman's other films, including Viola Davis, who starred alongside him in Get on Up and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; Josh Gad and Kate Hudson, who starred alongside him in Marshall; and Octavia Spencer, who also starred alongside him in Get on Up, also paid tribute to him. Additionally, 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden paid tribute to Boseman on Twitter, stating: "The true power of Chadwick Boseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even superheroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time." Kamala Harris, who was the subject of his final tweet, also posted a statement mourning the loss of Boseman.
Howard University, his alma mater, posted a statement to their Twitter from Howard's president Wayne A. I. Frederick. Numerous other actors, musicians and public figures paid tribute to him.
Six-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton dedicated his pole position for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix to the late actor. In the post qualifying press conference he stated "It is a really important pole because I woke up to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away. It has been such a heavy year for all of us, and that news just broke me so it was not easy to get back into focus with that in my heart. But I wanted to drive to perfection for what he has done for our people."
Major League Baseball (MLB) said that Boseman's portrayal of Jackie Robinson in 42 "will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie’s story to audiences for generations to come." The Los Angeles Dodgers, the franchise for whom Robinson played when they were in their former home of Brooklyn, New York, issued a statement honoring Boseman, which read, "From playing legendary figures to becoming one, we’ll never forget your iconic performance as Jackie Robinson and your many inspiring roles. You will be missed, Chadwick Boseman." Several publications also noted that Boseman died on Jackie Robinson Day seven years after portraying Robinson himself.
Awards and nominations
|2017||43rd Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Captain America: Civil War||Nominated|
|2018||MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Performance in a Movie||Black Panther||Won|
|Best Fight (Black Panther vs M'Baku)||Nominated|
|Best On-Screen Team||Nominated|
|44th Saturn Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2019||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Won|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Entertainer of the Year||Nominated|
|2020||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||21 Bridges||Nominated|