Black Panther’s Star Chadwick Boseman Lost His Battle but Won Our Hearts
Some actors know exactly how to mark an era through movies. In each of their films, they invest more and more effort and do their best to capture an incredible story for us. Aside from waging battles on-screen, some did the same in real life. Chadwick Boseman is one of those actors, and we’d like to honor his achievements by remembering his story. He never stopped trying to prove that the battles life has prepared for us only make us worth more than we were before.
Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born on November 29, 1976, in Anderson, South Carolina. He was a bright young boy who was interested in martial arts, a hobby that he’d practice throughout his adult life as well. He graduated high school in 1995, but even then, fate decided he’d be a talented artist. Indeed, in his junior year, Boseman wrote his first school play inspired by a tragic accident that his classmate had.
But Boseman was a skilled individual in many areas. He also played basketball in high school and even received a collegiate recruiting call. But thankfully for us, he chose to stick with creative arts instead. In 2000, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing. To pay for his student life, he worked in a nearby African-American-focused bookstore, which inspired him to write Hieroglyphic Graffiti.
His passion for writing and directing grew with time. He wanted to know everything about the business, so to better understand performers, he decided to study acting. Boseman participated in several programs and even went to Africa with his professor. After moving back to the US, he finished his film studies and graduated from the Digital Film Academy in New York City.
The start of his career
At the start of his career, he lived in Brooklyn and worked as a Drama League Directing Fellow in 2000. Later on, between 2002 and 2009, Boseman worked as a drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program. His career as an actor started in 2002, and Boseman even won several awards.
On the side, he wrote and directed many plays as well. His best-known work was Deep Azure, which earned him a nomination for a Jeff Award in 2006. But if you want to make it in showbiz, there’s only one place you can be. In 2008, Boseman returned to Los Angeles, ready to pursue his film and acting career. Auditioning for various roles, Boseman really knew how to get the best out of himself. In 2008, he appeared in The Express: The Ernie Davis Story, and in 2012, he shot his second short film as director, called Heaven.
But it was only when he took on the role of Jackie Robinson in 42 that things started to change for the better. Although he didn’t know much about baseball, he landed the role. But as you quickly came to see, Boseman was a multifaceted person. He wouldn’t stop with acting alone — he wouldn’t put all his eggs in one basket. In 2014, Boseman managed to sell his thriller screenplay to Universal Pictures. It was also around this time, in 2015, when he met Taylor Simone Leward, his long-term partner and the foundation of his emotional life. Leward and Boseman tied the knot secretly before he passed away.
True fame came when he took on the role of T’Challa/Black Panther for Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain America: Civil War. The film was such a success that in 2018, Boseman made a comeback as the Black Panther in a movie named after the character, this time with a starring role. The plot, in fact, revolved around his character and explored all the intricacies of his home nation, a fictitious country named Wakanda, supposedly located in Africa. This was Boseman’s big break.
The movie became one of the highest-grossing films shortly after its much-anticipated debut. With Sean Combs penning his entry, the role propelled Boseman to Time magazine’s 2018 list of the 100 most important people in the world. Boseman managed to do something rare in Hollywood: he starred in the first big-budget picture with a predominately Black cast and director, and it was the first superhero movie to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
He helped other patients even though he was sick himself.
Even though he was sick himself, Boseman didn’t hesitate to offer his help to other patients that were fighting the same condition. He inspired a lot of “fighters” to continue their battles and brought smiles to many kids’ faces just by showing up as one of the most popular superheroes in their hospital rooms. Making the little ones smile always resulted in his happiness as well.
Losing the battle
Only a small number of people outside his family knew that Boseman was carrying something heavy on his back. He had been fighting against stage IV colon cancer for 4 years after receiving a stage III diagnosis in 2016, never disclosing it to the public. In fact, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the people that actually did now about it had different levels of understanding of how serious his condition was.
Even while undergoing countless surgeries and chemotherapy, he filmed some of our favorite movies, such as Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and many others. With his wife and family by his side, on August 8, 2020, Chadwick Boseman died and left the world at the age of 43.
A posthumous Emmy Award
Honoring her late husband, Taylor Simone Ledward accepted the posthumous award for Boseman, saying, “He put every part of himself into every role he ever took on. It was a true honor for Chad to receive a posthumous Creative Arts Emmy Award for his voice work in What If.”
According to the actor, sometimes you need to get knocked down to understand what your fight is. Even though he lost his battle with cancer, he managed to win all of the hearts of his fans. His talent and humanity will be cherished for many years, and he will be remembered as one of the few celebrities whose seat can’t be replaced in our eyes.
Do you think Marvel made the right move in not recasting Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?