Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday after a battle with colon cancer, was someone who on the big screen brought to life heroes like Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall and fictional ones, like the Black Panther.
But upon news of his death, his colleagues and friends are paying tribute to someone they saw as a hero in his own right. A man who waged a private health battle for four years while producing the kind of powerful and important work some actors can only hope to produce in a lifetime much longer than the one Boseman was given.
Below are some of their reflections.
President Barack Obama
“Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.” – via Instagram and Twitter
“Gutted at the loss of you. We needed you now more than ever. I loved you, man. We all did. You will be missed.
Our little black boys lost a superhero today.
Black Panther has wings now. We all gained an angel.
This man made sure our heroes would live on forever.
Heroes like: Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown. You loved us.
Let’s love on each other y’all.”
– via Instagram
Sterling K. Brown
“I don’t have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed.” – via Twitter
“My prayers go out to Chadwick’s family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul. ” – via Instagram
“i will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god … forever and ever …”
– via Twitter
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer at Marvel
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.” – via statement to CNN
“All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.” – via Twitter
“A warrior of light til the very end. A true king. I am without words. May he rise in power.” – via Instagram
“Here’s to an incredible man with immeasurable talent, who leaned into life regardless of his personal battles. You never truly know what the people around you might be going through - treat them with kindness and cherish every minute you have together. RIP #ChadwickBoseman” – via Twitter
“I will tell my sons about you forever. You were one of the classiest men I have ever met in my life. It was an honor to have shared minutes with you on screen and to have crossed paths with you during press. Though our acquaintance was light you always left a lasting impression because of your energy, poise and gentle manner. May the Universe deliver you to your promise land brother.” – via Instagram
“live your legacy now.
rest well bredren.
– via Instagram
“Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for much more than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure. I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend.” – via Instagram
“all my aloha and condolences to his ohana. i’m truly gutted. what a wonderful spirit. i’m so sorry RIP” – via Instagram
“Chadwick Boseman. So immensely talented but even more incredibly impactful for so many. This world needed you. Thank you for everything you gave us throughout your fight. Grace and strength beyond measure. Rest in power and peace to one of the greatest of this generation and many more. Crushed. #RIP” – via Instagram”
“”I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking.
Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King.” – via Twitter
“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace.” – via Twitter
“Devastating. I have no words, just love and tears at the moment. Sending all this love to his family and all the film families that had the pleasure to work along side this beautiful man. Rest my friend @chadwickboseman” – via Instagram
“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…’thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…’. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.” – via Instagram
“1 of my all time favorite people on the planet Chadwick Boseman has passed away after a 4 years of fighting cancer. An wonderful actor & a truly nice man. R.IP. condolences to his family” – via Twitter