Actor Chadwick Boseman passed away on Friday after four years with colon cancer. He was 43. Following his death, the Jackie Robinson Foundation posted a tribute on social media to the man that portrayed Jackie Robinson in the baseball film, 42.
The foundation posted a photo on Twitter that showed Boseman with Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson. The message expressed sadness about the actor's death and provided information about his time preparing to portray the iconic baseball player. According to the account, Boseman spent as much time as he could with Rachel, absorbing every story and memory in order to "translate the soul" of Robinson. The foundation also said that Boseman was a "dear friend" and that he helped advance the mission by lending his time.
"Jackie Robinson has been my son's hero since he was 8 years old and my son is white. Chadwick did an amazing job of bringing Jackie to life and we are heartbroken over his death," one person tweeted in response to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Several others weighed in and expressed their agreement. They said that Boseman's portrayal of Robinson was "extremely meaningful."
Released in 2013, 42 was Boseman's first starring role in a feature film. He joined Lucas Black, Harrison Ford and several other prominent actors to recreate the Brooklyn Dodgers from the 1940s. Despite the "relative inexperience," Boseman still drew praise for his performance the biopic. "In his most challenging role to date, Boseman's Robinson is suitably charismatic and earnest, giving us a human portrayal of an icon that's easy to get behind," wrote CineVue's Amon Warmann in a 2013 film review.
42 focused on Robinson's rookie season with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Ford portrayed the team's manager, Branch Rickey, who breaks baseball's color barrier and signs Robinson to the team. Despite facing considerable racism from all sides, the baseball star remains restrained and puts his talent on display. Black joined the cast as Pee Wee Reese, the man that silenced a crowd in Cincinnati by putting his arm around Robinson's shoulder.
Black also posted a tribute to Boseman following the actor's death. "Proud to work with Chad and share the screen with him. I learned from his hard work ethic that was filled with passionate energy. I’m praying for him and his family. May God comfort his family and friends. [Chadwick Boseman] you're a fighter," Black wrote on Twitter with the hashtag, "rest in peace."