‘Black Panther’ actor Chadwick Boseman dies at 43

LOS ANGELES — “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman died Friday after a four-year fight with colon cancer, his family said. He was 43.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the actor’s family said in a statement. “It was the honor of his life to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

Boseman, who also played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before landing the role as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, died at his home in Los Angeles with his wife and family at his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press.

Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement. The actor had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis, according to the AP.

Boseman died the day major league baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, where every player wears No. 42.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in a statement. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more -- all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

This year, Boseman will be featured with Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a feature adaptation of the August Wilson play, Variety reported.

Boseman’s character in “Black Panther” was first introduced in 2016′s “Captain America: Civil War.” His “Wakanda Forever” salute became iconic after the release of “Black Panther” in 2018. The character was last seen standing quietly at Tony Stark’s funeral in last year’s “Avengers: Endgame.”

Before he was cast as the Marvel Studios superhero, Boseman’s career had taken off with his portrayals of Robinson in 2013′s “42,” and Brown in 2014′s “Get on Up,” Variety reported. Boseman also appeared in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” and portrayed NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the 2017 movie, “Marshall.”

Boseman’s family said several of his films -- including “Marshall,” “Da 5 Bloods,” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” -- were shot during and between surgeries and chemotherapy, according to the AP.

Boseman was born in Anderson, South Carolina, and graduated from Howard University. He is survived by his brothers, Kevin, a dancer and singer; and Derrick, a preacher, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“This is a crushing blow,” actor and director Jordan Peele tweeted. “This broke me,” actor and writer Issa Rae tweeted.

“We are devastated by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman,” Major League Baseball tweeted. “His transcendent performance 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.”