When you hear the name Chadwick Boseman, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely the Black Panther. We don’t blame you. As soon as it was announced that the actor had gotten the role, everyone agreed that it was the perfect fit. Boseman truly was the best Black Panther anyone could ever ask for. All the same, it only makes sense that the celebrated actor appeared in more than one movie franchise. In fact, Boseman’s acting career is as impressive as you’d imagine. From 42 to 21 Bridges, Boseman took each role to the next level in a way no other actor could. On top of his successful movie career, Boseman made quite a few appearances on television as well. Let’s take a look at Boseman’s impressive career, from the very beginning all the way to his untimely passing.
Writer And Director
Boseman didn’t grow up thinking he’d only be an actor. He wanted to be a writer and a director as well. In fact, in his junior year of high school, he had written his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at his school. Once he graduated high school, he attended Howard University and majored in directing, eventually leaving with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the subject. However, he was destined for more.
After he had finished college, one of Boseman’s teachers became his mentor. As a matter of fact, said teacher helped raise money for him and some of his classmates to attend the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in England. They ended up getting accepted. Initially, Boseman only studied acting so he could relate to the actors while writing and directing. Little did he know that his path would lead him elsewhere…
Beginning In Brooklyn
After returning to the U.S., Boseman graduated from New York City’s Digital Film Academy. At the start of his career, he lived in Brooklyn, working as the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program. During his time in New York, Boseman acted on stage in many productions. He won an AUDEKCO award in 2002. Of course, he also wrote and directed plays. It wasn’t until 2008 that he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.
Picking Up Speed
In 2003, Boseman was cast in a couple of TV shows: Third Watch and the famous soap-opera, All My Children. However, he was fired after voicing some concerns to producers about racist stereotypes in the script. As a result, the role was re-cast, with Michal B. Jordan assuming the role. Over the years, Boseman made appearances in more shows like Law & Order and ER. It wasn’t until 2008 that he made his first appearance in a feature film, The Express: The Ernie Davis Story.
Boseman’s breakthrough role came around in 2013 when he portrayed the baseball pioneer and star Jackie Robinson in the movie, 42. When he auditioned for the role, he’d been directing an off-broadway play in East Village. In fact, this led him to ponder the possibility of giving up acting altogether in favor of directing full-time. However, that changed when he got the role of Jackie. This was lucky for us, seeing as it all led him to eventually get the role of Black Panther in 2016. The rest, as they say, is history.
More Than Dedicated
While preparing for his role as James Brown in the movie Get On Up, Boseman told ABC News that he trained with a choreographer five to eight hours a day. Whenever he was on set, he was James Brown according to the film director, Tate Taylor. “The people around Chad would call him Mr. Brown. When he was picked up in the morning it was, ‘Mr. Brown in the car. Mr. Brown is on-set,’” Taylor said. “He was working so hard, he would make a rare appearance out to dinner, and it would just be odd that Chad was there.”
Unlike his Marvel Studios co-stars, Boseman didn’t have to audition for his titular role as Black Panther. In fact, he was the top pick for the role, even when the writers were working on the script. Even big Marvel stars like Chris Pratt and Robert Downey Jr. had to audition for their roles. The team held Boseman in high regard based on his previous roles, that’s for sure. They were right to do so, clearly. He was the perfect fit for the character.
In April of this year, Bosewan took to his Instagram to spread awareness about a charity he was passionate about in a video. Sadly, instead of focusing on the cause he was discussing, a lot of viewers focused on his skinnier frame. Some expressed concern for his well being, while others even made jokes about him. Boseman didn’t retaliate. He put up a strong front and kept on promoting the cause. The fans didn’t know the heartbreaking reason behind his drastic weight loss.
Fighting A Secret Battle
Only after his passing did the reason behind his weight loss come to light. It turned out that it was illness-related, unfortunately. Boseman had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer back in 2016. Eventually, it progressed to stage IV before 2020 came around. The actor never mentioned his cancer diagnosis in public. Only a handful of non-family members knew he was sick at all. During treatment, which involved several surgeries and chemo, Boseman kept working as usual. None was the wiser. On August 28, 2020, the actor passed away at his home due to complications related to his disease.
Remembering The Name
After his passing, many fellow actors and other celebrities paid tribute to Boseman on social media. He spent the last moments of his life surrounded by his wife and family. We don’t doubt that his name will be remembered. The actor was very passionate about all kinds of important social issues and was sure to speak up about them. Whoever worked with him only had good things to say about Chadwick, and it’s clear that he’d earned the respect and admiration he had from his fans. All we can say is that he will be missed.