Following Chadwick Boseman’s death of cancer at the age of 43, tributes are pouring in on social media from across Hollywood and the world. Some of the most poignant remembrances came from Boseman’s Marvel Cinematic Universe co-stars, who acted alongside him in the history-making Black Panther as well as blockbusters Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Angela Bassett, who played King T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda, wrote about first meeting Boseman when she received her honorary degree from Howard University, and Boseman was the student assigned to escort her to the ceremony. “It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family,” she wrote in a moving tribute on Instagram. “This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…’Thou art not dead but flown afar…” All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.”
Danai Gurira, who played Okoye, one of T’Challa’s confidantes and the general of the Dora Milaje, shared her memories of Boseman, writing, “How do you honor a king?
“My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy. He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter. “And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.”
Gurira continued, “He played great, iconic roles because he possessed inside himself that connection to greatness to be able to so richly bring them to life. He had a heroic spirit, and marched to the beat of his own drum; hence his excellence as an artist and the incredible courage and determination as he faced life’s challenges; while still guiding us all.”
It was a sentiment shared by Ryan Coogler, who directed Black Panther. In a powerful and emotional statement, Coogler described Boseman as “a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity, and pride” who deeply valued his privacy and “shielded his collaborators from his suffering.” Coogler recalled Boseman’s many contributions to the film, including decisions about the language of Wakanda as well as its customs and rituals, all while aiming to make a Lord of the Rings or Star Wars for the African diaspora.
“In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not,” Coogler wrote. “I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.
Many more of Boseman’s fellow MCU stars, including Sterling K. Brown, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Brie Larson, Chris Hemsworth, and more familiar faces from the superhero franchise, shared moving tributes to Boseman, below:
Black Panther co-star Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri:
this hurts. really hurts
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) August 30, 2020
Black Panther actress Angela Bassett, who played T’Challa’s mother Queen Ramonda:
View this post on Instagram
“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.” #WakandaForever
Black Panther actress Danai Gurira, who played warrior Okoye:
— Danai Gurira (@DanaiGurira) August 30, 2020
Black Panther co-star Sterling K. Brown:
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. 🤜🏿🤛🏿 https://t.co/8rK4dWmorq
— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) August 29, 2020
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler:
“In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.” (Read Coogler’s full statement.)
Marvel boss Kevin Feige:
“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.”
Captain America star Chris Evans:
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💙 pic.twitter.com/oBERXlw66Z
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 29, 2020
Winter Soldier, Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo:
Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr:
Nick Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson:
THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us. We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed🙏🏿 RIP
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) August 29, 2020
The Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo:
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.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 29, 2020
War Machine actor Don Cheadle:
i will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god … ✌🏿♥️✊🏿 🙅🏿♂️ forever and ever … https://t.co/9pORaKZuQN pic.twitter.com/awX3DiTVwn
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt:
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi:
Devastating news. We lost a great one. Takoto mai rā e Āriki. #chadwickboseman
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) August 29, 2020
Thor actor Chris Hemsworth:
Guardians of the Galaxy actress Zoe Saldana:
I’m gonna have to tell Cy, Bowie and Zen that T’Challa has passed. What other king can I tell them about now? pic.twitter.com/AFEFxJOFd5
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) August 29, 2020
Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner:
Luke Cage actor Mike Colter:
man. speechless. you were a king on and off screen. it doesn’t seem real. you were like a comet that flew by so fast. you will be missed brother. rest easy #chadwickboseman 🥺 pic.twitter.com/op0M8Fffml
— Mike Colter (@realmikecolter) August 29, 2020
Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson:
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) August 29, 2020
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland:
Vision actor Paul Bettany:
Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, gentle and princely, and the world is a poorer place without him. My love, thoughts and condolences to his family.
— Paul Bettany (@Paul_Bettany) August 29, 2020
Civil War actor Daniel Brühl:
Bucky Barnes actor Sebastian Stan:
Guardians of the Galaxy actress Karen Gillan:
— Karen Gillan (@karengillan) August 29, 2020
Simu Liu, star of Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi film:
I want to be crystal clear: without Chadwick, and what he gave to his character, there is no Shang Chi. Period. My career rides on the coattails of a great man.
I wish I would have had the opportunity to tell him in person – but I’ll fight for him always, my Eternal King.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) August 29, 2020
More on Chadwick Boseman’s celebrated film and TV career.
Additional reporting by Megan Vick and Kaitlin Thomas.