Fans around the world reacted in shock and sympathy to the news late Friday night that one of the most popular actors of the past decade had died.
Chadwick Boseman, best known for bringing the Marvel superhero Black Panther to life on the big screen, died this week at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, as confirmed in a statement on his official Twitter account.
“He radiated charisma and joy”
Beyond his acting chops, fans remembered him for his portrayal of characters in a way that addressed real societal issues in a manner relatable to all audiences.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was among the many colleagues who issued a statement in the wake of the announcement.
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” he wrote. “He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible.”
Feige went on to note that Boseman “embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life.”
In addition to the lead role in 2018’s Black Panther, his career included leading roles like that of baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 2013’s 42.
“An icon for the ages”
“He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed,” Feige said. “Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages.”
Boseman, whose death came on Jackie Robinson Day, was also honored in a statement from Major League Baseball.
“We are devastated by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman,” the MLB 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.”
Adding to the scores of tributes from his many fans, numerous fellow actors issued statements reflecting on Boseman’s impact. Denzel Washington called him “a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career.”
Audiences around the world are united in their sympathy and condolences while taking some comfort in the knowledge that his cultural impact is secure for future generations.