By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his star turn in the blockbuster Marvel superhero film “Black Panther,” has died at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, according to an announcement posted on Friday on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Boseman, a native of South Carolina, passed away at his home, with his wife and family at his side, the statement said, without specifying when he died. He resided in Los Angeles.
During his screen career, Boseman played a number of real-life characters famed for breaking America’s racial barriers, including soul singer James Brown in “Get on Up,” Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall,” and baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson in “42.”
But the actor’s most memorable role was his 2018 performance as T’Challa, king of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda and the crime fighter known as Black Panther, in the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly African-American cast.
“Black Panther” went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. It won three Academy Awards – in the best original score, best costume design and best production design categories.
Boseman originated the Black Panther film role two years earlier in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” and reprised the part twice more in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.”
The statement on his social media accounts said Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and that the disease progressed ultimately to stage 4.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; editing by Jane Wardell)