Viola Davis shared a touching tribute of Chadwick Boseman following his sudden passing. The actor’s family announced he lost his fight with Stage 4 colon cancer on Friday, news that came as a surprise to many after he kept his diagnosis within his close circle. Both Davis and Boseman worked together in the upcoming Netflix film, Ma Rainer’s Black Bottom, which now might have its release date delayed as it will serve as the last film Boseman worked on before his death.
Davis posted a picture of the two together while backstage at the 2016 NAACP awards. "Touched my broken heart to see this today," she wrote in the tweet. "That smile… that lifeforce." Davis was among many in the entertainment industry who were taken aback by his tragic passing after he kept his cancer diagnosis hidden for four years. Even his director on Black Panther, perhaps his most iconic role, said he was not "privy" to all that he was dealing with outside of the set.
A photo a friend sent from backstage at the 2016 NAACP Awards. Touched my broken heart to see this today. That smile...that lifeforce....💔✨ pic.twitter.com/6JaVA7HxAm— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 30, 2020
When news of his death first came out, Davis took to Twitter to express her grief and pay tribute to the late actor. Explaining how she was at a loss of words, Davis wrote, "It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you." Following his death, Netflix canceled a virtual event set to preview the two's newest film. In a statement, the streaming service said they are "heartbroken" over his loss, calling it an "incredible loss." No official release date has been revealed yet but it is expected to come out before 2020 ends.
Chadwick.....no words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity........It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you....Rest well prince...May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you! 💛💛💛 pic.twitter.com/6abglPBOsh— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 29, 2020
In announcing his passing, Boseman's family referred to him as "true fighter" for bravely fighting his initial stage three colon cancer diagnosis four years ago. "Chadwick preserved through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much." These included Marshall and Da 5 Bloods, among others. Boseman also lost his fight on the day that Major League Baseball honored Jackie Robinson, a man he portrayed on the big screen in one of his first roles in 42.