Chadwick Boseman, star of “Black Panther,” has died on Friday after a four year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
He was born the youngest of three boys and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, by his mother, who worked as a nurse, and father, who worked in a textile factory.
When he was a junior in high school, Boseman wrote and staged a play about the shooting death of a basketball teammate, which turned his life towards the arts.
He studied directing at Howard University, where he was mentored by Phylicia Rashad.
Although Boseman never spoke publicly about his diagnosis, according the statement, he worked through his treatment for much of his career, starting when he played another Black American icon, NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, in 2017’s “Marshall” — a year before the premiere of “Black Panther.” Boseman most recently appeared in the Spike Lee’s Vietnam War drama “Da 5 Bloods,” and this year he’s due to appear opposite Viola Davis “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a feature adaptation of the August Wilson play, directed by George C. Wolfe.