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R.I.P.: Chadwick Boseman Has Died After Long Battle With Colon Cancer

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The world is reeling from the news.  A King, both on screen and off, has died.  R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman.  More inside.

In devastating breaking news, actor Chadwick Boseman is dead at age 42 (some reports state 43). The South Carolina native and Howard University alum had been battling colon cancer since a 2016 diagnosis, which he never made public. 

In a statement posted to his official Twitter account, just after his last post enthusiastically supporting fellow Howard alum Kamala Harris, the sometimes outspoken and very prolific actor's private battle was made public.  He was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer four years ago, and had been battling it ever since, even as he entered stage IV.

He passed away with his wife, Simone Ledward, and his family by his side.  He and Simone kept their marital news private this whole time as well, even though many have speculated recently about them possibly being married.

After attending the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London after college, thanks to funds raised by his college professor Phylicia Rashad, Chadwick moved to New York to embark on what would become an iconic career.  One that was nowhere near finished. He graduated from New York's Digital Film Academy, then took his degrees in directing and film to L.A. to pursue an acting career.  

That's when we were blessed with his many biographical-style acting roles in 2013 – Jackie Robinson in 42, bringing to life James Brown in Get on Up, Marshall, and eventually T'Challa, the first black Marvel superhero to get his own solo movie, Black Panther.  Black Panther (which he also brought to Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game) was and is a world phenomenon, and it's incredible, yet absolutely heartbreaking, to know he was fighting this huge battle while in the midst of the biggest role of his career.

Before and between those huge roles, he also starred in Draft Day, the tv series "Lincoln Heights" in 2008, "SNL" host in 2018, 21 Bridges, and his latest film now airing on Netflix, Da 5 Bloods directed by Spike Lee.

Chadwick led a private life but definitely spoke up when he felt necessary - from addressing social injustices to politics to why Wakanda is so meaningful for the Black American and African communities.  He was indeed one of the hardest workers and most talented in the game.

People speculated his recent more withdrawn-from-Hollywood-life persona might have meant he was working on a new role or just enjoying some downtime after a multi-year promo run for his character Black Panther. Fans began sending love and best wishes to him after a video he posted showed a dramatic change in appearance, despite not knowing exactly what was going on.  Now, it's clear he was bravely fighting his own personal battle.

Our hearts, while broken over this news, go out to Chadwick's wife, family, loved ones and fans who endlessly adored him.

'Gone Too Soon' doesn't quite grasp how hard his death is to grasp. We thank him for the utter perfection of his craft that he graciously shared with the world, and for the amazing personal character he possessed, and that so many spoke so highly of, throughout his career. 

R.I.P. Chadwick.

 

Photo: DFree/Shutterstock, Getty

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