Celebrity

Chris Evans, Joe Biden, & More Celebs Pay Tribute To Chadwick Boseman

The Black Panther star died after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

Chris Evans, Joe Biden, & More Celebs Pay Tribute To Chadwick Boseman
John Shearer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
By Jake Viswanath
Updated: 
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Hollywood is in mourning after actor Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer at the age of 43 on Friday, Aug. 28. Ever since the devastating news was announced, celebrities have been paying tribute to Boseman, including Oprah, Jordan Peele, and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Specifically, his Black Panther co-stars, including Angela Bassett and Sterling K. Brown, and those who starred alongside Boseman in films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, like Chris Evans and Brie Larson, have been reflecting on their own memories with the actor, with many saying he was bound to become one of the all-time greats.

Prior to the announcement of his death, Boseman's four-year battle with cancer was unknown to the public, as his representative explained that the actor went through "countless surgeries and chemotherapy" while shooting Black Panther and several of his most well-known films. As many celebs have eloquently said, the impact of Boseman's performances of iconic Black characters, such as baseball legend Jackie Robinson and King T'Challa, the first Black superhero lead of a Marvel film, cannot be understated. Black Panther went on to become the highest-grossing superhero film at the time of its release, and was the first Marvel film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

As his representative explained on the actor's Twitter, it was the honor of Boseman's career to "bring King T'Challa to life" in Black Panther. And for many of his co-stars, it was an honor to simply work with him and witness his greatness. Read on for their meaningful tributes.

Marvel Stars

Marvel President Kevin Feige

President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, paid tribute to Boseman in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, calling the actor "our T'Challa, our Black Panther" and a 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," Feige said. "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.”

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. celebrated Boseman on Twitter, sharing a GIF of the two stars laughing together during a press tour. "Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life... That's heroism," he wrote in part.

Chris Evans

Boseman's Avengers co-star Chris Evans, who famously portrays Captain America in the MCU, paid tribute to the late actor on Twitter, calling him special and a true original. "He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist," Evans wrote. "He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King."

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana, who starred as Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame alongside Boseman, wrote about the impact that her co-star had on her, calling him King T'Challa. "I will tell my sons about you forever," she said. "You were one of the classiest men I have ever met in my life... Though our acquaintance was light you always left a lasting impression because of your energy, poise and gentle manner." She also shared a brief tribute to the actor in Spanish, one of her first languages.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson, one of the most recent additions to the MCU, paid tribute to her Avengers: Endgame co-star on Twitter, sharing a photo of the pair and a sentimental statement in which she remembered his impact on fans and true friends. "Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace," she explained. "Who stood for so 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... You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend."

Don Cheadle

Avengers co-star Don Cheadle shared a selfie of him and Boseman on Twitter, nodding to the fact that they share the same birthday of November 29 in his short and sweet tribute. "I will miss you, birthday brother," he wrote. "You were always light and love to me. My god ... forever and ever ..."

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo, who famously plays The Hulk in the MCU and worked with Boseman on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, wrote on Twitter that the many tragedies of 2020 "have only been made more profound" by Boseman's unexpected loss. "Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning," he wrote. "Lord love ya. Rest in power, King."

Chris Hemsworth

Thor, or Chris Hemsworth, paid tribute to his Avengers co-star on Instagram, sharing a snapshot of the two. "Gonna miss you mate," he wrote. "Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met. Sending love and support to all the family xo."

Tom Holland

Boseman's Avengers co-star Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man as one of the MCU's more recent additions, paid tribute to the actor's immeasurable charitable efforts, sharing a photo of Boseman visiting a young hospital patient. "Chadwick, you were even more of a hero off screen than on," Holland wrote. "A role model not only to me on set, but to millions of others around the world. You brought joy and happiness to so many and I’m proud to have been able to call you a friend."

Samuel L. Jackson

Jackson, who has famously played Nick Fury in nine Marvel movies and worked with Boseman on his Avengers film, showed gratitude to his longtime co-star on Twitter. "THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us," he wrote. "We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed."

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi, who directed Thor : Ragnarok and appeared with Boseman in Avengers: Endgame, wrote a short and sweet message on Twitter to honor his co-star. "We lost a great one," he wrote. "Takoto mai rā e Āriki."

Simu Liu

Simu Liu, who is set to play Marvel's first lead Asian hero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, paid tribute to Chadwick for paving the way for a more inclusive future at Marvel. "I want to be crystal clear: without Chadwick, and what he gave to his character, there is no Shang Chi," he tweeted.

Black Panther Family

Ryan Coogler

On Sunday, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler issued a lengthy statement honoring Boseman and sharing that the actor had not revealed his illness to him. As reported by Variety, his tribute read in part: "Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us."

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett, who played the mother of Boseman's character T'Challa in Black Panther, posted a powerful photo of the duo from the film on Instagram. She also shared the sweet story of how they first met years before the film, saying that their connection was "meant to be." "During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something," she wrote. "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!"

Bassett said they spent weeks with each other preparing for their roles as mother and son. "I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience," she wrote. "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." She ended her tearjerking tribute with the famous #WakandaForever hashtag.

Sterling K. Brown

Brown, who had a brief role as T'Challa's uncle Prince N'Jobu in Black Panther, said that he didn't have words for Boseman's shocking passing. "Rest In Peace, Bruh," he wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed."

Michael B. Jordan

On Monday night, Michael B. Jordan released a lengthy statement honoring Boseman, noting that he had been "reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug... everything." Jordan, who played Killmonger in Black Panther, called Boseman his "big brother" and pledged to continue to honor the actor for the rest of his life. "I'm dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets."

Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira, who played Okoye, the leader of the King's all women fighting force in Black Panther, released a statement saying that Boseman "made that job prfoundly easy." She continued, praising the actor and his "heroic spirit." In her tribute, Gurira also took the time to acknowledge Boseman's impact on audiences worldwide, noting, "The children he inspired, my heart aches for them, to lose their hero just as they finally found him."

Winston Duke

Winston Duke called Boseman "a lightning rod" for him, writing on Instagram that seeing Boseman onscreen gave him hope that he could make it. "He gave me direction... when I saw 42, I said, I could be like THIS guy." He continued, "I knew I belonged because I could see myselfin you... that's what heroes do."

Celebrities

John Boyega

John Boyega shared a few tributes to Boseman, both on Instagram and Twitter, but perhaps the most joyful was the re-posting of a video he took at the Met Ball, of himself celebrating "Love and harmony" with Black Panther stars, Boseman's arm over his shoulders.

Oprah Winfrey

In her tribute to Boseman, Oprah praised Boseman's dedication to giving us powerful films as he was going through the trials of cancer. "Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo," she wrote on Twitter. "The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like."

Denzel Washington

Legendary actor Denzel Washington, who famously had a close relationship with Boseman before his career and even paid for his acting classes, paid tribute to his mentee in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career," he said. "God bless Chadwick Boseman."

Barack Obama

On Saturday, former President Obama praised Boseman for his dedication to helping others even as his own health was in decline. "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," he wrote.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, recognized the significant public impact of Boseman's iconic film roles on Twitter. "From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes," he wrote.

Viola Davis

Viola Davis, who starred alongside Boseman in Get on Up and who will appear with him again in the upcoming Netflix movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, said on Twitter that it was an honor to work with the actor on what would now become his final film. "Chadwick... no words to express my devastation of losing you," she wrote. "Rest well prince...May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you!"

Ava DuVernay

Director DuVernay shared a powerful shot of Boseman from Black Panther on Twitter, alongside a strong and short tribute. "May you have a beautiful return, King," she wrote. "We will miss you so."

Jordan Peele

Comedian and filmmaker Jordan Peele said how everyone is feeling about Boseman's shocking death: "This is a crushing blow."

John Legend

John Legend paid tribute to Boseman on Twitter, calling him a "bright light" and a "gifted" actor. "He brought grace, elegance and power to everything he did," the singer wrote. "He always seemed to carry our ancestors with him. And now he joins them far too soon."

Kerry Washington

Actor Kerry Washington shared a short but emotional tribute to Boseman on Twitter, calling him a true king and a "warrior of light" until the very end. "May he rise in power," she wrote.

This post will be updated as more tributes are posted.

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