Chadwick Boseman‘s death has shocked and saddened the world. His family revealed on Friday night that the Black Panther, Da 5 Bloods and Get on Up star had lost the four year private battle he’d fought with colon cancer. Tributes immediately poured in from fellow actors, directors, studios, politicians and musicians, with last night’s TV special Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute to a King a testament to the respect that he was held with in the industry.
Naturally, many of the tributes have focused on his most prominent role as T’Challa in Black Panther. But it should be remembered that he had a career beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman’s breakout role came in 2013’s 42, an acclaimed biopic about real-life sports hero Jackie Robinson. The role indelibly connected Boseman to Robinson and he subsequently spent a lot of time working with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to further their causes.
Now, Boseman’s 42 co-star, Harrison Ford, has joined the chorus of praise. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he said:
“Chadwick Boseman was as compelling, powerful and truthful as the characters he chose to play… His intelligence, personal dignity and deep commitment inspired his colleagues and elevated the stories he told. He is as much a hero as any he played. He is loved and will be deeply missed.”
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It certainly doesn’t look like the outpouring of emotion that the public have had to Boseman’s death is going to come to an end anytime soon. His choice of roles throughout his career and the way he used his stardom and fortune to encourage and support young creators transformed him into a truly inspirational figure.
And now that we’ve learned that he accomplished all this while battling cancer in private without ever asking for a moment of sympathy? Well, in my opinion, Ford is right. This certainly makes him a hero. Both on and off the silver screen.
RIP Chadwick Boseman, you will be missed dearly.