The Marvel family of superheroes paid tribute to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who died on August 29 after battling colon cancer.
“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace,” wrote the official Marvel and Black Panther social media accounts.
Captain America star Chris Evans shared pictures of time spent with Boseman, while tweeting: “I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power.”
“All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King,” tweeted Hulk star Mark Ruffalo.
Actor Don Cheadle also paid tribute to the late actor, posting: “I will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god ... not ok forever and ever.”
Actor Chris Pratt who stars in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' also posted on Instagram, writing: "My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul."
Angela Bassett who played Boseman's mother in 'Black Panther' posted an emotional note remembering the actor.
"It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something," Bassett wrote. "He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever!
"We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother...”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar...”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever"
Representation in Hollywood
Boseman’s character T’Challa brought about a revolutionary change in Hollywood, with insiders and fans celebrating Black representation like no other through a popular mainstream film. Boseman played king and protector of the technologically advanced fictional world of Wakanda as the first black superhero in mainstream American comics.
The Marvel film was celebrated as an important cultural moment for its mainly black cast, and for subverting stereotypes by depicting a prosperous African country that takes in refugees and extends its culture and technology to poorer nations.
Boseman shrugged off doubters who tried to convince him not to give the superhero an African accent.
“There was a time period where people would ask me questions about whether or not an audience could sit through a movie with a lead character that spoke with that accent,” he said at the time.
“I became adamant about the fact that it’s not true,” he added.
His passing has left a void with many of his fans who fought with him in the final Avengers film, with Brie Larson who plays Captain Marvel posting a touching tribute on Instagram. “Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure. I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend.”
Before Marvel, Boseman played the legendary Robinson in Brian Helgeland’s ‘42’ (2013), which had the highest-grossing debut for a baseball movie in Hollywood history.
Boseman died in his home “with his wife and family by his side,” an official statement said, which was posted on his Twitter account.
Other stars also paid tribute to the late actor, with actress Kerry Washington posting: “A warrior of light til the very end. A true king. I am without words. May he rise in power.”
Martin Luther King III also posted a tribute to the star, tweeting: “Chadwick Boseman brought history to life on the silver screen, from Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall. As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many. And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed.”
-With additional input from AFP