76 Facts About Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman achieved international fame for playing the Marvel Comics superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2016 to 2019.
Chadwick Boseman appeared in four MCU films, including an eponymous 2018 film that earned him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Chadwick Boseman kept his condition private, continuing to act until his death in 2020 from the illness.
Chadwick Aaron Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, the son of Carolyn and Leroy Boseman, both African-American.
Chadwick Boseman's mother was a nurse, and his father worked at a textile factory and managed an upholstery business.
Chadwick Boseman competed in Speech and Debate in the National Speech and Debate Association at T L Hanna.
Chadwick Boseman placed eighth in Original Oratory at the 1995 National Tournament.
Chadwick Boseman was recruited to play basketball at college but chose the arts instead, attending college at Howard University in Washington, DC, and graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing.
Chadwick Boseman wanted to write and direct, and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors.
Chadwick Boseman traveled to Africa for the first time while at college, working in Ghana with his professor Mike Malone "to preserve and celebrate rituals with performances on a proscenium stage"; he said it was "one of the most significant learning experiences of [his] life".
Chadwick Boseman lived in Brooklyn, New York City, at the start of his career.
Chadwick Boseman directed productions including George C Wolfe's The Colored Museum and a staging of Amiri Baraka's Dutchman.
Chadwick Boseman worked as the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem between 2002 and 2009.
Chadwick Boseman rose to prominence as a playwright and stage actor in 2002, performing in multiple productions and winning an AUDELCO award in 2002 for his part in Ron Milner's Urban Transitions.
Chadwick Boseman directed and wrote plays as part of the Hip-hop theater movement; his works included Rhyme Deferred, in which he performed, and Hieroglyphic Graffiti.
At the 2002 Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, Chadwick Boseman gave a one-man show called "Red Clay and Carved Concrete".
In 2003, Chadwick Boseman was cast in his first television role, an episode of Third Watch, and began playing Reggie Montgomery in the daytime soap opera All My Children.
Chadwick Boseman was fired from All My Children after voicing concerns to producers about racist stereotypes in the script; the role was re-cast, with Boseman's future Black Panther co-star Michael B Jordan taking the part.
Chadwick Boseman said at the time that Deep Azure was "a fusion and progression of [his] previous plays", which he did not feel fit wholly in the Hip Hop theater genre.
Chadwick Boseman directed, wrote, and produced the short film Blood Over a Broken Pawn in 2007, which was honored at the 2008 Hollywood Black Film Festival.
In 2008, Chadwick Boseman moved to Los Angeles to pursue his film and acting career.
Chadwick Boseman was cast in a recurring role on the television series Lincoln Heights as Nathaniel Ray Taylor, an army veteran with PTSD who was later revealed to be the son of the main character before re-enlisting.
Chadwick Boseman appeared in his first feature film in 2008, The Express: The Ernie Davis Story, as running back Floyd Little.
Chadwick Boseman landed his first regular role in the 2010 television series Persons Unknown as the Marine Graham McNair.
Chadwick Boseman had been directing an off-Broadway play in the East Village when he auditioned for the role, and was considering giving up acting to pursue directing full-time.
Part of the audition process involved playing baseball; Chadwick Boseman had been involved with Little League as a child but was primarily a basketball player growing up, saying that in this part the casting directors likely noticed his athleticism rather than specifically baseball skills.
Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, commented that Chadwick Boseman's performance was like seeing her husband again.
In 2014, Chadwick Boseman starred in another sporting film, Draft Day, as fictional football player Vontae Mack.
Chadwick Boseman had not wanted to take a role in another biopic so soon after playing an icon in Robinson, saying he "wasn't looking to do it again for another 15,20 years", but was sought out as director Tate Taylor's only choice.
Co-star Dan Aykroyd, who had known Brown, praised Chadwick Boseman's performance, saying that it was neither replication nor impression and that he "did not have to squint sitting across from [Chadwick Boseman] to imagine that [he] was talking to [Brown]".
Chadwick Boseman stayed in character between filming on set; Taylor said this was not a method acting approach, and more a necessity due to Chadwick Boseman holding his vocal cords unnaturally to imitate Brown's southern drawl.
Chadwick Boseman had sold a thriller screenplay to Universal Pictures in 2014, which he continued to collaborate on with creative partner Logan Coles and planned to star in, and told The Guardian that he still wanted to be a director but would explore his acting career first, adding that "maybe it'll be easier if you're a successful actor".
Chadwick Boseman was one of the few actors of color featured in the film, which had drawn criticism for using a predominantly white cast to portray Egyptian characters.
Chadwick Boseman's own casting was criticized for falling under the "Magical Negro" stereotype.
The Independent reported that Chadwick Boseman shook his head while telling GQ in an interview that "people don't make $140 million movies starring black and brown people".
Perri Nemiroff for Collider said that Chadwick Boseman shines as "the only cast member who really seems to understand the movie he's in".
Chadwick Boseman developed a Wakandan accent himself, and used it during the entire production "whether he was on camera or not".
Chadwick Boseman returned as the Black Panther in Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, which focused on the character and his home country of Wakanda in Africa.
Chadwick Boseman reprised the role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which were released in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Chadwick Boseman portrayed Thurgood Marshall in the biographical film Marshall in 2017.
Chadwick Boseman was still worried about being put into a "biopic box", and felt that he didn't look enough like the real Marshall, but took the role because he enjoyed the script "separate from the historical relevance"; he had expected big courtroom speeches but found that in the case Marshall was silenced by the judge and had to mentor white co-counsel Sam Friedman to take on his first criminal case.
Chadwick Boseman told The New York Times that he liked this element of the story because "it doesn't allow you as an audience member, no matter what color you are, to hide from the issues".
Chadwick Boseman researched Marshall extensively before portraying him, as well as studying videos of him speaking and losing muscle to reflect the younger Marshall's wiry frame.
The film opened to an average critical reception, though Chadwick Boseman's performance was praised.
Chadwick Boseman was approached to work on the film by two of its producers, Avengers directors the Russo brothers, at the Infinity War premiere.
Chadwick Boseman was a producer on 21 Bridges, something he said was made clear to him in his early conversations with the production team; the three producers are given a nod in one of the film's opening lines, when a character is described as an "avenger".
All of the film's characters were originally conceived as male and white, with Chadwick Boseman encouraging amendments to this and other parts of the story.
Chadwick Boseman personally called Stephan James to ask him to play one of the criminals Boseman's detective is hunting; the two actors had been planning to work more together after the film.
Chadwick Boseman said that he and Coles "fought for casting and for actors that brought particular sensibilities and feelings".
In 2019 Boseman was announced as part of the cast for the Netflix films Da 5 Bloods, directed by Spike Lee, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by George C Wolfe.
In 2022, Chadwick Boseman posthumously won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for the What If.
Similarly, reviewer Richard Brody in The New Yorker finds the originality of Chadwick Boseman's formidable acting technique in his ability to empathize with the interior lives of his characters and render them on screen as fully and completely belonging to the character.
Chadwick Boseman was uniquely able to capture and portray the dignity of his characters, according to The New York Times critic Wesley Morris.
Culture writer Steve Rose, in The Guardian, said that Chadwick Boseman's career was revolutionary and he "leaves behind a gamechanging legacy", attributing this to the actor's careful planning and selection of roles.
Chadwick Boseman began his career playing African American icons and pioneers; he ends it as one himself.
Rhea Combs, film curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, said that with his screen presence, Chadwick Boseman "was not only a conduit to the past and the way African-Americans persevered and pushed through so many challenges, he represented brightness and the promise of tomorrow".
Chadwick Boseman was part of a church choir and youth group and his former pastor said that he still kept his faith.
Chadwick Boseman studied Hebrew and had a good knowledge of both the Old Testament and New Testament.
Chadwick Boseman had stated that he prayed to be the Black Panther before he was cast as the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chadwick Boseman worked with cancer charities including St Jude Children's Research Hospital, continuing to support those battling the disease up until his own death from it; in a message to a producer days before he died, Boseman inquired about sending gifts to childhood cancer patients.
Chadwick Boseman donated $10,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to provide free tickets for children who wanted to see Black Panther; he did this to support and promote the Black Panther Challenge started by a New Yorker to raise money for similar children across the country.
Chadwick Boseman advocated for children's charities, with the Jackie Robinson Foundation noting after his death that he helped with their youth outreach.
When Disney planned to donate $400million to charitable causes, Chadwick Boseman encouraged the move.
In politics, Chadwick Boseman supported the When We All Vote campaign, and his last tweet before his death was congratulating Kamala Harris on her selection as Joe Biden's vice-presidential nominee.
Chadwick Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which eventually progressed to stage IV before 2020.
Chadwick Boseman died at his Los Angeles home as a result of complications related to colon cancer on August 28,2020, with his wife and family by his side.
Chadwick Boseman died without a will, and his estate will be governed by California law with the representation of Ledward.
Chadwick Boseman's death was likened to other unexpected deaths of other celebrities in 2020, particularly Kobe Bryant and Naya Rivera.
Several publications noted Chadwick Boseman died on the observance of Jackie Robinson Day, seven years after his having portrayed Robinson.
In February 2021, another mural dedicated to Chadwick Boseman was painted at Trilith Studios in Fayetteville, Georgia, by artist Brandon Sadler.
Chadwick Boseman is memorialized in the 2020 video game Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Producer Nate Moore said that Chadwick Boseman "was such an integral part of that character for us, both as the character and as a person, that we could not conceive of a version with having someone else on set".
Coogler said that while the film was a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, it was a tribute to the resilience of the cast to "honor Chadwick Boseman".