The passing of Chadwick Boseman hsa left everyone who followed his uber-successful career stunned. The Black Panther star never revealed to his suffering cancer battle, so his tragic death at the age of 43 was a gut punch for all those who knew or followed him.
Boseman had been diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. He had kept his battle with cancer secretive for all of those years, even through the filming of several Marvel movies and some of his latest roles in Marshall and Da 5 Bloods. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, eventually progressing to stage four. He kept his diagnosis to himself and those close to him and out of the spotlight, all while continuing with his career in the entertainment industry. The director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, told The Hollywood Reporter he was not "privy" to knowing his leading man was dealing with this serious disease.
What Boseman was going through is the third most common cancer diagnosis in the country among men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. More than 106,000 cases are diagnosed a year. After being diagnosed, Boseman was active in visiting hospitals, including stops at St. Jude campus to see cancer patients and bring them some inspiration.
Boseman, who married his girlfriend before his passing, was honored at the MTV Video and Movie Awards at the start of the event. Keke Palmer, who was the host of the event, called him a "true inspiration" and said his "spirit has touched so many." This comes at an event that previously saw Boseman take home an award in 2018 for "Best Superhero," which he later gave away to James Shaw Jr. after he apprehended a gunman at a Tennessee Waffle House.
Earlier in his career, Boseman made a mark in Hollywood after taking on the role of Jackie Robinson in 42. The foundation of the baseball icon paid tribute to the late actor, calling him a "dear friend of the foundation." The message shared how Boseman worked diligently to study everything about Robinson and how he "spent considerable time" with his wife to take in all the information he could. "Chadwick will be etched in history as a hero in his own right, especially having shown millions of Black and Brown children the power of a superhero who looks like them," the foundation explained.