Fans of Black Panther were devastated by the news of the US actor’s death in August. The filmstar kept his battle with colon cancer private and hid it from castmastes while he worked on the Marvel blockbuster. Those who knew were sworn to secrecy. Boseman’s legendary portrayal of the iconic black superhero will be remembered today, on what would have been the star’s 44th birthday.
The day after Boseman died, his family revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and over the years it progressed to stage IV.
In a Twitter post on his account, they described him as a “true fighter” who had “persevered through it all” to bring fans the films they had “come to love so much”.
The tweet read: “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’sMa Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more – all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”
But in a touching homage to his most iconic role, they wrote: “It was the honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Prior to that, Chadwick had celebrated future Vice President Kamala Harris, shared clips on-set and supported the Black Lives Matter movement online.
His debut was in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War, two years after he had been announced as the actor to play the ruler of fictional land Wakanda.
After he was revealed as Black Panther, Boseman told fans: “In all seriousness, I’m blessed to be a part of this Marvel Universe… I’m looking forward to making magic together.”
When Civil War was released, the actor toured various cinemas to celebrate with fans and shared the clips on Twitter in May 2016.
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After he surprised fans at another cinema, he said: “That was surreal, I feel I’m about to levitate.”
Prior to his 2016 debut, Boseman answered fans’ questions in videos that he shared on Twitter.
In one post from April, he said: “How did i react when I found out I was Black Panther… months before?
“The answer to that is, I had to scream silently because I couldn’t tell anybody, I had to do it in the car and get out like nothing happened.”
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Boseman’s pride for Black Panther shone in interviews – but in a candid confession to EOnline in 2014, he revealed that he had never read the comic books as a child.
He said: “When I was a kid, no. I had heard of it, but I hadn’t read all the comics. But of course I have now.”
Boseman admitted he “usually” didn’t watch any of the films he starred in “until a month after” but with the Marvel movies, he made an exception.
He said: “Now I get to watch the movie myself and I usually don’t watch it until a month after the movie is out but I want to watch it with the fans.”