Angela Bassett is mourning the death of her on-screen son from Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman. Boseman, who died from cancer on Friday, played T'Challa, prince-turned-king of the fictional African nation Wakanda, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bassett played T'Challa's mother, Ramonda, in 2018's Black Panther and 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Work on these films made the two close, and Bassett is clearly saddened by the 43-year-old actor's passing.
On Instagram Friday night, Bassett shared two tributes to Boseman. The first upload featured 10 pictures taken alongside the late star either taken from Black Panther, itself, or its accompanying press and awards tours. She captioned it with a heartbreak emoji. In the second post, the Golden Globe winner revealed a surprising connection to Boseman that predated their work on the Marvel films.
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"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," Bassett wrote. "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."
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Bassett closed out her powerful dedication with nothing but praise for the actor, writing, "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." She concluded her message with the hashtag for "Wakanda Forever," the battle cry for their Marvel characters' home country.
Boseman died on Friday at his home, with family surrounding him. Doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer in 2016, but he did not share his condition publicly. In the confirmation of his passing, Boseman's family told fans that the movies he had completed since were "filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy." He only has two projects pending release, the upcoming Netflix movie Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and a voice role in the Marvel animated series What If...? on Disney+.