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Stunned Hollywood pays tribute to Marvel star Chadwick Boseman

He has died at the age of 43 following a battle with colon cancer.

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Tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43 (Ian West/PA)

Tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43 (Ian West/PA)

Tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43 (Ian West/PA)

Tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43.

In a shock statement on Friday, Boseman’s family announced he had died surrounded by his loved ones following a four-year battle with colon cancer.

He had never discussed the disease publicly and had worked on blockbuster films throughout his treatment, the family said.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” a statement added.

His death stunned Hollywood and tributes have flooded in from across the entertainment industry and beyond, with Boseman’s Marvel co-stars leading the way.

Chris Evans played Captain America and said: “I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King.”

Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, wrote on Instagram: “Gonna miss you mate. Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met. Sending love and support to all the family xo RIP”

Chris Pratt, another Marvel star, said: “My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul.”

Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk, said: “It was the highest honour getting to work with you and getting to know you. What a generous and sincere human being.

“You believed in the sacred nature of the work and gave your all. Much love to your family. And much love from all of us left here.”

Ruffalo added: “All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.”

Don Cheadle also starred with Boseman in the Marvel films. Alongside a picture of them together, he said: “i will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god …  forever and ever …”

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, cast Boseman as Black Panther.

In a statement, he said: “Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. 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.

“He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”

In its own statement, Marvel said Boseman’s “legacy will live on forever”.

Jordan Peele, director of horror film Get Out, described Boseman’s death as a “crushing blow”.

Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins tweeted: “In power Eternally in power.”

Matthew A Cherry, best known for the 2019 Academy Award-winning animated short film, Hair Love, said: “Chadwick was really out here shooting all of these huge action movies while fighting stage 4 colon cancer. Man. Strong isn’t even the word.”

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, praised Boseman’s impact, saying his portrayal of Black Panther “inspired generations”.

He said: “The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes.”

Biden added he and wife Jill were praying for Boseman’s loved ones. His running mate, Kamala Harris, also paid tribute.

Boseman’s final tweet was a picture of himself alongside Harris, congratulating her on the nomination.

In her tribute, Harris said: “Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family.”

Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry shared a picture of Boseman and said: “Here’s to an incredible man with immeasurable talent, who leaned into life regardless of his personal battles.

“You never truly know what the people around you might be going through – treat them with kindness and cherish every minute you have together. RIP #ChadwickBoseman.”

British Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo said Boseman was “a gentleman” and “the kindest superhero I have ever met”.

In a touching tribute, she wrote: “Took my hand and walked me down the steps, had a hug every time we met. There was only ever love. A real one. We lost a real one. I’m truly crushed.

“We lost the Black Panther, the hero that gave our babies a hero to aspire to. Just f****** heartbroken.

“Dearest Chadwick You will never be forgotten. Rest In Power!! God Rest your soul kind man.

“Can we please just love on each other now, we are losing each other!!!”

The NAACP, one of the leading civil rights groups in the US, shared a tribute to Boseman on Twitter.

Boseman’s portrayal of Marvel superhero Black Panther was lauded as an important landmark in the fight for wider representation in Hollywood.

The NAACP said: “For showing us how to conquer adversity with grace… For showing us how to “Say it Loud!”… For show us how to walk as a King, without losing the common touch…. For showing us just how powerful we are… Thank you #ChadwickBoseman #RestInPower #BlackPantherForever.”

Award-winning actor Sterling K Brown had a supporting role in Black Panther and shared a tribute to Boseman on Twitter.

He said: “I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed.”

The film Academy described Boseman’s death as an “immeasurable loss”.

It added: “From Black Panther to Da 5 Bloods, Chadwick Boseman brought strength and light to the screen, every time.”

PA