Dan Aykroyd, who starred in the James Brown biopic Get on Up with Chadwick Boseman, remembered the actor as a generous talent gone to soon. Boseman died on Friday at 43, following a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was best known for playing Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as Jackie Robinson in 42 and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.
"Totally run through hearing about Chad Boseman," Aykroyd shared on Facebook Saturday afternoon. "He generously opened up his soul to us with his beautiful eyes, smile and talent. So good, so kind. To lose this masterful actor who so expertly portrayed James Brown, Jackie Robinson, and the Black Panther now?! What?! The universe is telling us something." Aykroyd's fans were also moved by the death of another great young actor, with many chiming in. "Kind words for what appears to be the premature loss of a really good guy and great talent," one fan shared.
In Get on Up, Aykroyd starred as Ben Bart, Brown's manager and the president of Universal Attractions Agency. The film was directed by The Help's Tate Taylor and also starred Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer and Aloe Blacc. Spencer shared multiple tributes to Boseman on Instagram this weekend, including a message to his family. She hoped they were not exposed to the "public scrutiny" that came after photos of Boseman looking thin were published in the spring.
"Sending healing prayers and my condolences to your loved ones," Spencer wrote in another message, alongside a video of Boseman singing. "You have many as you were so beloved. I will miss your humility and strength, but will forever be inspired by your courage and resolve. It’s hard for me to say rest in peace because I’m having a difficult time letting you go."
Boseman was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, his family said Friday. The actor never publicly discussed his diagnosis. However, he often donated his time to children with illnesses. In September 2018, he paid a visit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis to meet patients and donate toys. He posed for pictures with the children, sharing many of the photos on his Twitter page at the time. The photos went viral over the weekend, as an example of Boseman's big heart.
During the 2018 media tour for Black Panther, Boseman teared up when talking about two young boys with a terminal illness "holding out" for him to finish the movie. "It's a humbling experience because you're like, 'This can't mean that much to them,' you know?" Boseman said with his co-stars by his side. "But seeing how the world has taken us on, seeing how the movement has taken on a life of its own, I realized that they anticipated something great."