The family of actor Chadwick Boseman confirmed on Friday night that he had passed away at the age of 43. He was diagnosed with colon cancer and faced the disease for four years while portraying several iconic figures, including baseball great Jackie Robinson. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the team for which Robinson played — during the Brooklyn years — reacted to the news with a Saturday morning tribute.
The Dodgers posted a photo on Twitter that showed Boseman on the baseball field and wearing a team jersey. HThe team captured the moment on July 13, 2013, when the actor threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies. He also joined 42's director Brian Helgeland and fellow actor John McGinley to announce that it was time for Dodgers baseball. The team also held a special screening of 42 following the game.
From playing legendary figures to becoming one, we’ll never forget your iconic performance as Jackie Robinson and your many inspiring roles. You will be missed, Chadwick Boseman. pic.twitter.com/NY2sKMcJIb— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 29, 2020
While Boseman didn't have much experience on the big screen, 42 was actually his first lead role in a major motion picture. 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 2013.
Boseman returned to the role of an icon in 2014 when he portrayed James Brown in Get On Up. This project was the second of three biopics that he filmed in five years. Boseman also played Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice, in 2017's Marshall.
As Boseman's family explained in Friday's statement, he filmed Marshall while facing colon cancer. This biopic was one of several films, including Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Black Panther, 21 Bridges and Da 5 Bloods that he worked on while facing the disease. He filmed all of these projects while undergoing "countless surgeries" and bouts of chemotherapy.
Following Boseman's death, countless figures on social media posted tributes to him. The Dodgers did so with the photo and message on Saturday, as did several NFL players such as Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and Jamal Adams. Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton also captured the pole position during Saturday's qualifying and said that his performance was in honor of Boseman.