Oprah Winfrey Speaks on Chadwick Boseman's 'Greatness' After His Shocking Death at 43

Oprah Winfrey called Chadwick Boseman a "gentle, gifted soul" in her tribute to the late Black Panther actor, who died on Friday at 43 following a battle with colon cancer. Winfrey was also among the celebrities who reflected on his impact during ABC News' Sunday night tribute to Boseman. Winfrey has been a big supporter of Black Panther, which she once called a "game-changing" movie.

Boseman showed everyone his "greatness in between surgeries and chemo," Winfrey noted on Twitter. "The courage, the strength, the power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like." The former daytime talk show host also shared the statement from Boseman's family on his death. The actor died at his Los Angeles home, four years after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He never publicized his diagnosis and made several of his most popular films while being treated for the illness.

"The way he handled his life and managing cancer with such humility and grace and dignity lets us all know that he truly was a superhero," Winfrey told Robin Roberts during ABC News' Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute for a King special. She said Boseman would be "remembered, cherished, and loved in our hearts, not just for what he was able to offer on film, but what he was able to give as a human being. And it's not just a loss that we're feeling. We're going to feel his absence."

Winfrey called Boseman a "shooting star" who lived his life so that children who see him as Black Panther "see a reflection of themselves embodied in everything that he intended." His young fans "get to dream about and wish about and make wishes on that shooting star that was Chadwick Boseman," she added.


Boseman first played T'Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War (2016). He also appeared in Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). During the 2018 awards season, Winfrey personally went to bat for Black Panther, telling Oscars voters the film was "a phenomenon in every way, on every level," according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Makes me tear up to think that little black children will grow up with 'Wakanda forever,'" Winfrey said. "It's game-changing, it's pride-making, it's dazzling, it's phenomenal.' That was my personal review."

Black Panther became the first comic book movie nominated for Best Picture. It is also the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to win any Oscars, as it won awards for its costume design, production design and original score. The film grossed over $1.34 billion worldwide.